The bourgeois gesture signals a shared social heritage. Characteristic of timeless values formed by our mutual inheritance, it triggers an eternal spark for rebellion. For the Maison Margiela Spring Summer 2020 Artisanal collection, creative director John Galliano identifies the nature of the bourgeois gesture and investigates the impact of heritage codes in the age of cyber industrial revolution. Societal uniforms are anthropomorphise d through body language: the nonchalant shrug of a coat off the shoulder, the insolent tie of a bow, or the conscious drape of a plaid over the arm. Rooted in a revolutionary time of industrial advancement, gestures once indicative of a new refinement of innovation, consumerism, and materialism have become linked to the ideals of heritage. Through the recycling of bourgeois codes, an upcycling process of values is proposed: a new bourgeois consciousness founded in ethical principles of luxury. The gramm ar of today.
In a time of mass consumption, overproduction is embedded in our compulsive desire to recreate emotions attached to aspirational dress codes and the gestures through which we activate them. Honing the repurposing premise of the Artisanal l ine, the majority of materials selected for the collection are reclaimed. They are exercised in new techniques developed to capture the memory of gestures, the process of dressmaking, and the representations of bourgeois uniforms: the little tweed jacket, the belted trench coat, the printed foulard scarf. Hacked up, the icons are reduced to their authentic core, rebelled against and re evaluated. The blas blasé gestures of the bourgeoisie freeze frame within the construction of garments, immortalising the intui tive signals created through the spontaneous swathing, clenching or cinching of clothes. Employing the new technique of work in progress, sleeves and culottes integrate and elevate the toile materials of calico
and muslin, illustrating through garmentsthe chapters of dressmaking.
In pin striped suits the gentleman’s habit of demure sophistication the artisanal gestures of a tailor’s fitting are caught in the act: a sleeve hangs off the shoulder hem, the process area of empty space replaced with tulle in serts. Bias cut siren dresses underpinned with layers of translucency create an aquarelle filtrage, evoking the painterly and suspenseful colours subliminally associated with the bourgeoisie. Hand-cut holes infer the technique of decortiqué – the house term for reducing a garment to its core structure – and become an abstraction of lace. When scalloped into fabric sequins – flickering halves revealing the contrast of linings – the fibre of a garment is broken down; the bourgeois ideal of a column dress infused with the mutinous parfum of a humble string vest. The show debuts a shoe collaboration between Maison Margiela and Reebok, splicing the Tabi with the InstapumpFury in a dialogue reflective of the conscious grammar and science