Designer John Galliano is know for his love of theatricality, so it should come as no surprise that his spring 2024 couture collection for Maison Margiela (also a suitably dramatic house) was filled with moments of high-brow fantasy, from transparent corsets and ripped stockings, to oversized vinyl gloves and steampunk-inspired goggles.
Perhaps the most show-stopping moment of all, however, was the appearance of the actress Gwendoline Christie, who took to the runway to close the show in a sheer, corseted gown overlaid with tinted rubber that wouldn't have looked out of place in a Tim Burton film. The look was accessorised with white stockings, heels and bag, as well as doll-like make-up with a gothic slant: think exaggerated blonde curls, glassy skin and smudged eyeshadow.
This latest Margiela show was everything but quiet luxury. Instead, the set was a ramshackle saloon complete with weathered floorboards, dotted with a jumble of chairs and tables strewn with tipped-over bottles. The models looked as if they'd been pulled straight from the paintings of Toulouse Lautrec in their worn-out trenchcoats and tattered stockings, bandages wound around their hands.
According to the show notes, Galliano wanted the borderline bawdy experience to feel like "a walk through the underbelly of Paris... the night-time revellers one passes on a moonlit wander along the Seine, what lies beneath the imprints of their clothes, and what happens behind the dimly-lit windows of their homes".
It's not the first time Christie has dabbled in modelling: in the past, she's walked for brands including Prada and Vivienne Westwood, and her runway turn for Japanese designer Tomo Koizumi caused fashion hysteria in 2019. The actress (slash model, perhaps we should say) has spoken at length about her love of fashion, and is also married to the designer Giles Deacon, who regularly designs looks for his wife and muse.
For the full run-down of Couture Fashion Week – including emerging style star Kylie Jenner's best front-row looks – see the our favourite celebrity outfits, and beauty looks to emulate for the coming season.
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