“Whatever damage the pandemic has wreaked on the fashion industry, the upsurge in mold-breaking imagination in depicting clothes, thought, conversations, and humanity is swiftly bringing about a revolution. “I very quickly realized that fashion, and the way we had created and presented it, would never be the same again,” Galliano says…I was able to embrace the idea that something new could happen, that we could innovate, be resourceful, and that fired me up again…
Psychologically, Galliano essentially flipped the behind-closed-doors mentality that has been his own safety zone—and the anonymity code at Maison Margiela for years. Instead, he decided that he’d show every step of the making of the collection, in extreme detail, only with some extra-special twists in the storytelling. “I thought, ‘I’m going to be completely transparent about this, now.’ I’d always feared being in front of the camera [and] all those things you do when you know the camera’s on you, but I decided that I’m ready. So I approached [British photographer] Nick Knight, whom I trust and love.”
The upshot was two months of documenting every move made by Galliano and his team in just about every possible format. “I wanted to portray the process… a voyeuristic method, almost…There’ve been drones flying around us, coming in and out of my conversations. I’ve been wearing GoPros, one on my head, one on my chest.” Knight accumulated Zoom calls, text messages, FaceTime calls, used thermal-camera imaging, AI, and even an X-ray app—everything that could capture the detail and texture of working both by hand and remotely was captured. “It’s been a whole new, exhilarating process,” Galliano exclaims. Some of the technology has fed back into the collection. “It’s informed how I’ve allocated fabrics for some of the dresses—that’s been a very creative way of working. But of course, some of the sequences are real time, real dresses, because I think today we want to see real, too. I asked my kids to start filming themselves on iPads at the beginning of the pandemic. They were expressing 3D experiments in cutting on their kitchen tables, on their terraces, in their garages. So really that’s how it started.”
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