Mémoire de la mode: Maison Margiela 2024 Couture 

Mémoire de la mode: Maison Margiela 2024 Couture 

The glooms of darkness overtook the streets of Paris in Maison Margiela’s 2024 couture collection. This show opened in the rain-soot tunnel of the Pont Alexandre III bridge in Paris, connected to a run-down cafe. At first glance, many viewers thought this spectacle to be a flashback to the grunge and grime of the 1990s.  But, such a mirage was fabricated by none other than the glitz and glam of John Galliano. You have fashion, but then you have John Galliano’s version of fashion. This collection was not only the epitome of glamor but answered the question of how one can go from tattered and beaten to youthful, like a porcelain doll, again.

Model Leon Dame opened the show by frantically running through projected light before uniquely gracing the runway. While clutching his lapels, Dame waltzed through the runway tunnel like a wild gazelle wearing a tightly fitted corset. This dramatic entrance didn’t amount to the wonder and awe presented throughout the collection. At the beginning of the show, much of the couture mixed dark chiffon with tarnished socks reminiscent of Paris nightclubs in the 1930s. Exaggerated suits made from dark wool built visual appeal, allowing viewers to resonate with the darkness seen throughout. Yet as the show progressed, so did the audience’s viewpoint. Models slowly developed into porcelain dolls through bold silhouettes and leather collars made to look like fine china. Pastel chiffon beamed through the models’ couture, almost like the streetlights of Paris shining at dawn.  The true shine, however, came to life through Pat McGraph’s makeup artistry. McGraph used liquid glass makeup, typically used for special effects, to create an alien-like proportion on the models’ faces. She also combined blue and green hues on different models’ eyes to bring to life the pastels seen within the collection of lavish displays. 


While the collection was a spectacle in itself, it was the models that brought the couture to life. Each model sauntered down the runway creating an almost eerie dissonance between the couture and viewers. While some models moved like detectives on a mission, others used the couture as fluid for arm movement and grace. Notably, Game of Thrones actress, Gwendoline Christie, sashayed while wearing a tightly fitted corset and porcelain makeup further establishing our ability to return to youthfulness. 

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In the words of John Galliano, “The joy of dressing is art”, which was undoubtedly seen throughout this collection. Galliano made a breathtaking statement and brought us back to a time in fashion we never thought we could relive. Like an aide-mémoire, this invitation into the past has allowed us to recall that while fashion may not always be tangible, we can look to the dark tunnels and corners for the youth we strive to relive. 

Model Eliza Petersen in Pat McGraph makeup


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