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POSTAT 2015-01-14 11:04:56

the designer makes a remarkable debut for Maison Martin Margiela with a sombre affair almost entirel


In what was the moment the fashion world had been anxiously waiting for John Galliano rose from the ashes last night with his debut collection for Belgian brand Maison Martin Margiela.The show, which came four-year after the designer was fired from Dior after being found guilty of anti-Semitism, was attended by little more than a hundred friends and long term supporters.

Galliano’s chosen venue, a startling bright office block in Victoria, had little in common with the lavish sets which were once synonymous with his shows for Dior.

This was a fresh start and the heralding of a subdued new age for the designer who has worked hard both in rehab and in the design studio in order to receive the clean slate his new Belgian bosses have generously put his way.

A typically theatrical offering, the clothes on offer (to the high paying couture customer) included masterfully crafted gowns, deconstructed tuxedos and embellished overcoats. Skulls, gold horse bits and lacquered shells were among the most startling inclusions. Latex leggings and a series of slash upturned trouser dresses demonstrated the designer’s skill with silhouette. A series of mandarin collared gowns, scarlet in colour, were among the most spellbinding and perhaps, the most wearable on the catwalk.

This remarkable debut was a suitably sombre affair which was almost entirely free from pomp and splendour. The general consensus was that this was not Galliano at his very best - it was him at his most soulful.

After accepting the job at Maison Margiela last year, Peckham-raised Galliano, 54, announced that he would unveil his debut offering in London instead of at couture week in Paris where the house has a regular slot on the schedule.

A cast of home supporters including Moss and husband Jamie Hince, Manolo Blahnik and Burberry’s Christopher Bailey were among those who watched from the side lines at the Buckingham Gate venue last night.

Moss, who invited Galliano to create her wedding dress following his fall from grace, cheered and applauded as each outfit was unveiled on the runway.

She was joined by major fashion players from across the globe including Anna Wintour and Lanvin’s Alber Elbaz.