“The birth of what we’re living now — consumerism and capitalism — started when the bourgeoisie was born after the industrial revolution, a time of mass innovation and consumerism regardless of any effect on the world,” John Galliano explained on Maison Margiela’s podcast, The Memory of… with John Galliano, in a new episode which dropped as his haute couture collection of the same name – SS20 Artisanal – was debuted in Paris overnight.
He continued, “Now we are inspired to fulfil the demands of an ethical conscience; luxury nowadays is being able to buy something that fits those ethics. Our footprint leaves a lasting imprint on the world.”
That ethical conscience prompted Galliano to make his new couture collection predominantly from second-hand clothing and materials, which the designer encouraged his team to go out and search for in op shops.
The result was a collection inspired by “bourgeois gestures,” which Galliano described as “the insolence in the way you tie a bow. The shrug of a coat off the shoulder, the way you tie the sleeves on a twinset.”
For spring/summer 2020, the traditional pieces you’d expect from a Margiela offering – trench coats, tweed jackets and herringbones – were taken apart and put back together again, resembling what Galliano called a “work in progress”.
There was almost too much to take in in one sitting: Everywhere from the set – hot pink – to the model’s lipstick – bright yellow – to the shoes – the new Reebok-Tabi hybrid, demanded attention, a vibrant overload which Galliano says was inspired by the paintings of Edward Hopper.