Photo: Giovanni Giannoni / Courtesy of Maison Margiela

Thanks to Margiela, Couture is Cool Again

For a generation that does everything for the ‘Gram, is buying couture next?

by Gabriella Karefa-Johnson
Jan 25 2018, 10:11pm

Photo: Giovanni Giannoni / Courtesy of Maison Margiela

With the strong sequin showing on awards show carpets this season—where sparkly gowns seemed to be designed specifically for Kirakira activation—it isn’t a stretch to think that the made-to-measure marvels of any couture show are courting a new demographic: millennials.

At yesterday’s Maison Margiela Artisanal show, creative director John Galliano pushed the needle even further, showing technical outerwear that, when activated by flash photography and viewed through a smartphone screen, transformed into Technicolor, holographic, and positively otherworldly pieces. With one foot in the digital world and one IRL, the collection spotlights the distinction any savvy social media addict constantly questions: which one is the real thing? Is it what we see out in the world, or what we see through our phones? Whichever way you slice it, the result was a clutter of content on my Instagram feed, and FOMO so strong I couldn’t help wanting a piece of my own (and fantasizing about how the glitchy sportswear-inspired coats might trickle down to ready-to-wear next season).

If Instagram-able, intergalactic outerwear still seems like a reach for the average young buyer, consider that Galliano made sure to keep the accessories down-to-earth. With an eye towards a younger audience, we saw the first couture iteration of the decidedly un-couture seasonal staple—the dirty white sneaker. Part Moon Boot, part Air Force 1, and entirely absurd, I can’t think of a more apt entrée into the halls of haute couture for the Insta-generation.