Photo: Charles Sykes/REX USA.
Major fashion scoop is always an interesting way to wake up on a Monday morning, and this one's a bombshell. This morning, WWD broke the news that John Galliano is taking over as creative director of Maison Martin Margiela, confirming the rumors and marking the return of the controversial designer.
Galliano came under fire for going on a racist and anti-Semitic rant in 2011, which led to his quick dismissal from the helm at Christian Dior, the shuttering of his namesake label, and being stripped of his Legion of Honour award. After taking responsibility for the incident, the disgraced designer’s been trying to move past it ever since, by attending rehab for alcoholism and eventually baby-stepping back into the industry.
He’s held a series of gigs over the past three years, such as making costumes for Stephen Fry’s The Importance of Being Earnest, serving as guest editor at British Vogue, and acting as a consultant for Russian beauty chain L'Etoile. Most notably, Oscar de la Renta invited him for a three-week residency to work on his fall 2013 collection — which signaled a ticket back into the circle, albeit a temporary one. But, with his new top title at Margiela, the fashion world is clearly ready to let him in full-time.
According to Renzo Rosso, whose company, OTB, owns the Parisian fashion house, “Margiela is ready for a new, charismatic, creative soul. Galliano is one of the greatest, undisputed talents of all time — a unique, exceptional couturier for a maison that always challenged and innovated the world of fashion.”
Galliano’s signature aesthetic is romantic and feminine, a red-carpet go-to for everyone from Sarah Jessica Parker to Kate Moss. The classically beautiful look is certainly a far cry from Margiela’s experimental silhouettes and unconventional pieces (whether they're jeweled face masks or nude bodysuits). The disparities don't end there: Where Margiela's founder was near-anonymous, Galliano always steals the spotlight.
However, it’s these differences that keep things exciting, and we can’t wait to see how the creative visions come together. Luckily, we won't have to wait long — Galliano is expected to debut his Maison Martin Margiela designs in January during Paris Couture Week. (WWD)