John Galliano, 63, creative director of Maison Martin Margiela, had the difficult task of closing the Parisian haute couture season (which saw superb shows from houses like Valentino and Schiaparelli), a challenge he met with an extremely fascinating parade. It was an extraordinary depiction of famous historical figures from Paris that seemed like they had stepped out of an Émile Zola novel.
Galliano presented Margiela’s new Spring/Summer 2024 artisan collection in an abandoned, vaulted-ceilinged venue along the Seine, transformed into a decadent bistro where a range of French archetypes took center stage, shapely and sassy courtesans from the past, like Madame Pompadour. or Jeanne du Barry — to the sensual and devilish dancers of the Moulin Rouge, but also to the nocturnal gamblers and the cat burglars.
The French performer and drag queen “Lucky Love,” a Freddie Mercury impersonator, opened wearing a man’s overcoat, then took it off to reveal his chest and missing left arm, singing a gospel version from his hit “Now I Don’t”. Need your love.”
A black and white silent short film by red Mill Director Baz Luhrmann’s quasi-crime film featuring a jewelry store robbery was screened immediately afterward. It showed stiletto heels on broken glass, couples lacing their corsets and a thief offering the heroine a pearl necklace in a seedy bohemian brasserie in the Latin Quarter so beloved by Baudelaire.
Inside this rudimentary, abandoned inn, the courtesans and innkeepers were at one point transformed – to the tune of “Hometown Glory.”» sung by Adèle — as dolls with porcelain faces, red cheeks and disheveled hair who walked slowly, lay on tables and seduced the audience. With impeccable and…