One could say “only the brave” or a company by that name would make the move of giving the British Designer his first appointment since his termination from Christian Dior in 2011 following his racist and anti-semitic remarks at a Paris café. Other than appearances at the Kate Moss wedding in 2011 and at Oscar de la Renta’s studio in 2013 to design a collection, John Galliano has been away from the fashion limelight addressing substance abuse and other issues.
As news of his appointment broke through Womenswear Daily on Monday, there has been much speculation and discussion on what would have motivated Renzo Rosso, the President of OTB to hire Galliano particularly for Maison Margiela which is respected for innovation and challenging the status quo in the fashion world.
It’s true that Galliano has had many admirers including Rosso. But Martin Margiela is known for subverting design norms, discreet branding and deconstruction. So the fit between the two does not seem obvious. A flamboyant Galliano, has always stood for opulence and fantasy in fashion, known for his own unpredictable costumes in his after-show appearances. The marriage of the austere vs the opulence therefore evokes interest and wonder.
As the house of Margiela submits to the charisma of Galliano it is to be seen if Galliano will reinvent the brand or reinvent himself staying true to the brand’s identity. His first collection is deemed to be an artisanal line to be shown in couture week in Paris in Jan 2015.
Whatever be the verdict of that show, it is heartening that the talented couturier has a second chance to showcase his skill at the risk of “Only the Brave”. The fashion world will be on tenterhooks to see the outcome. Who knows, history might be made again for the house of Martin Margiela with this unique marriage.