John Galliano presented his latest collection for Maison Margiela last week, and it’s all anyone with even a minute interest in fashion has been discussing for days. Set on the eve of the year’s first full moon on the left bank underpass of the Pont Alexandre III in Paris, the show was many things all at once. Theatrical and groundbreaking, voyeuristic and haunting, and moving and deeply memorable. This right here is couture at its finest. 

There are fashion shows, and then there are fashion shows, you know. Collections that paint a narrative beyond just driving sales and engagement, collections that consider every detail down to the minutia of the character, the set, the mood, and the fantasy in fashion. This is haute couture.

This feeling of wonderment was deeply rooted in John Galliano’s creative process for Maison Margiela’s Artisanal Collection, with viral movement choreographed by Pat Boguslawski across a varied class of models (or muses as Galliano calls them) of all shapes and sizes, all expertly coiffed, almost doll-like by Dame Pat McGrath.

The collection was inspired by Fauvist artist Kees van Dongen, a visual artist known for his suggestive portraits of society women in vibrant, unconventional colours, the Belle Époque, and some of Galliano’s past work for Dior. The pieces played with form and function, blending high-tech and old-school construction methods to create a collection of sheer genius. Fabrics made to look wet, almost rain-soaked, became second skin as the models sacheted mysteriously down the weaving indoor outdoor runway.

Materials were turned upside down for the occasion: heaps of tulle, silk, decoupaged lace, tweeds treated with crepe and glue, boiled and shrunk to mould to the form and glass-like neck-pieces actually made from polished leather—all examples of John Galliano’s genius at work like a symphony of design and careful consideration.

The moody set design, of course added to the grander of it all, transporting show attendees to another world completely invited into the fantasy as the models interacted with them as they weaved down the runway.

Watch the entire full Maison Margiela Artisanal 2024 show in all it’s glory below.