NEW PURITYBetween overflow and degeneration

The millenial generation begin to search for authenticity with the Maison Margiela Autumn/Winter 2019 Défilé co-ed collection.

Degeneration is a decadent process through which an entity is reduced to its purest core. At Maison Margiela, collections are composed through a pyramidical structure where ideas developed in the Artisanal ateliers filter into consolidated form. For the Autumn/Winter 2019 Défilé co-ed collection, creative director John Galliano induces the digital decadence identified in the recent Artisanal show and proposes a purified sense of restraint. From one collection to the other, this image of degeneration is demonstrated through the reduction of garments themselves.
The overstimulation created by a computer-generated culture of artifice alters reality and confuses fabrication for truth. With cyclical centennial timing, a new era of decadence sets in: excess inevitably followed by decay. Oversaturated by impressions, the millennial generations native to life in cyberspace begin to search for authenticity. Through the evolved language established at Maison Margiela, John Galliano employs decadent cutting to reduce familiar garments to their most authentic form – their core, their silhouette, their proportion – retaining only the memory of what once was.
Appropriating the inappropriate, traditional wardrobe staples fragmentise and migrate to new areas of the body. A flannel coat transforms into a dress, an equestrian trouser mutates into a bustier with a skirt, and a faux leather trench coat morphs into shorts with decortiqué hems. Trousers cut open and flattened become skirts, dresses or capes, their voids filled in with fabric. Flat cutting appears in jackets and dresses brought to life in strategic cuts from which three-dimensional shapes are raised and back-panelled in contrasting lining.
Through degeneration, conventionally gender-specific garments become truly genderless, heralding the combinaison: a top and bottom in one. Excess rears its head in the decadent symbol of pink flamingos, illustrated in the flamingo sequence print fabricated entirely from computerised textures and forms. Exercised in the juxtaposing panels of black or grey outerwear, its sensory overload highlights the contrast between overflow and degeneration. Through this inverted excess, Maison Margiela proposes a new idea of purity.