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The Wingspan

The Wingspan

The Wingspan

Maison Margiela Haute Couture SS24: Artisanal

Britt Lloyd
Look 7. Eau de Nil boiled wool cardigan worn over a bottle green satin-back crepe and azure georgette lining skirt adorned with bronze-colored metallic fringe embroidered into a crescent moon motif, worn over a corset in repurposed turqoise antique brocade. Eau de Nil velour and faux lizard Tabi interlaced ankle-strap pumps by Christian Louboutin for Maison Margiela. Model: @sanjiadalecka on Instagram.

On the night of the first full moon of the year, Maison Margiela’s breathtaking Spring Summer 2024 collection, “Artisanal,” designed by John Galliano, shocked media with the viewer-proclaimed “revival of the art of fashion,” and a complete 180 from last years’ Spring Summer collection. “Artisanal” is characterized by porcelain doll-like makeup, corseted boys of the Parisian underground, and a sandbox of romance, imagery, emotion, and the romanticization of cocottes and speakeasies.

This fashion show made headlines for all the right reasons. From the revolutionary and innovative makeup done by Pat McGrath, to the fear-striking corseted Leon Dame, “Artisanal” had people asking “What’s happening right now?” and “Where can I find more?” Appearances at the show included celebrities such as Kris Jenner, Kylie Jenner, Kim Kardashian, Bella Thorne, Shay, and Noah Cyrus. 

Model Leon Dame wearing the ecru calico corset worn with anthracite herringbone wool trousers. An anthracite herringbone patinaed emotional-cut woll cap and black leather Tabi brogue boots by Christian Louboutin for Maison Margiela. (Britt Lloyd)

From jump, it was clear this was the works of Galliano. Directed by movement master Pat Boguslawski, the stars of the show and well-described “children of the night” emerged from the drenched street outside. Leon Dame was the first to lurk into the room, gripping onto a tiny glass of wine, he was topless with an impossibly cinched waist. Following Dame came a fleet of dreadfully glamorous cocottes, “their pannier gowns and bustiers overlaid with moth-eaten embroidered tulle, skirts tea-stained and artfully grubby glamorous clothes rendered shabby by their forays in the night,” wrote Emma Elizabeth Davidson on Dazed Magazine. 

As the night progressed, we got to see more and more of what sent “Artisanal” into virality. The life-sized dolls that graced the runway were both beautiful and twisted. The models wore unremarkable silhouettes with porcelain skin and and left so much, yet so little to the imagination. The porcelain, doll-like skin was the primary factor sent social media into a frenzy. Makeup influencers were cast into hysteria trying to achieve the impossibly shiny and beautiful makeup which Pat McGrath did effortlessly. 

The makeup wasn’t the only thing that made this collection an epicenter of discussion; it was also the artistic respect many artists have for this contorted body of work. If you’ve ever seen another one of Galliano’s collections, you’ll observe his love for experimentation with fabrics and textures. While this practice isn’t uniquely his, Galliano is, in my opinion, the modern pioneer of what it means to be a creative forcefield. The use of commonly disregarded materials are what make these works so bold and becoming. 

It was hard to find a problem with this collection, but as I looked at every individual look, I soon noticed something the fashion industry has been no stranger to. Comparative to the beauty of every one of the feminine looks, their masculine counterparts are lacking, and in my opinion, had the opportunity to be far more innovative and eye-catching than they were. Galliano’s “Artisanal” had 15 looks modeled by men out of the total 44, and each of them, while undoubtedly glorious, felt like the same suit-and-tie silhouette with the occasional corset thrown in there. With that said, it is important to acknowledge the artistic meaning behind the collection and how mens fashion can be integrated keeping the topic in mind. 

If I had to pick my favorite looks from this collection, I’d have to choose looks 11, 17, 19, 22, and 27. This collection has launched fashion into a modern renaissance and each look and accompanying performance have been described as “walking paintings,” by Sarah Mower on Vogue Magazine. Margiela shows have always been marked on my fashion calendar, and this one will unquestionably be highlighted as an annual holiday for years to come. When I watch fashion shows, I’m rarely impressed with the craft, but this one had me hooked and rewatching. While onlookers may not understand the beauty behind this body of work, fashion lovers, like myself, have only fallen deeper in love with the art.

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About the Contributor
Thomas Treviño
Thomas Treviño, Photo Editor
Thomas Treviño is an aspiring Journalist who has a taste for fashion, art, photography, and everything in between. Treviño is going on his second year as being Photo Editor for The Wingspan and really wants to gauge his personal improvement in his photo-taking skills as well as produce the best possible photos for the publication. When he's not in school, you can find Treviño hanging out with his friends, doing school work, or making TikToks about US History for his peers. As of this school year, Treviño has been elected as National Honor Society Historian on the basis of his experience as the Photo Editor. 
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