In the last 20 years, the reuse of old garments for new creations is a common phenomenon. But calling haute couture techniques simply recycling is a bit of an understatement. The process of up-cycling is more than just using the raw material and the old. Through this type of reuse, the raw material becomes an object of higher status than the original object, it is about improving the material used and making it more desirable than it was at the beginning.

In the 90s, Martin Margiela already tried to mark a change in the obstructed conscience of the fashion world, but it is now - at the limit - when designers start to take seriously this way of creating collections from the reuse of garments and John Galliano, at the head of the ensign, maintains the trail.


In Maison Margiela's recent haute couture show in January 2020, which decoded society's heritage, with a deconstruction of the bourgeoisie, Galliano returned to the show again, breaking the leitmotifs of upcycling and renewal to show that cultural responsibility is something that must continue to be provoked.

As a starting point for the collection, Galliano began his explorations through charity shops to exercise the concept. Writing his sequel as Recicla - a homophone for Martin Margiela's recycling initiative - Galliano positioned his collection as a journey of recovery. The postmodern assembly saw the resurgence of old objects turned into new ones, and while authenticity rears its head as Diet Prada's hungry eyes haunt it, Galliano reimagined the pre-existing as his own, respectfully adorning the garments with labels that declare their origins and their era.


Bewitched by the notion of rebirth, Galliano persisted with hand-cut holes in decorative tailoring, this time delicately framing the pieces in pastel shades, while the jackets, cut to hang from the body like stoles, revealed layers of exposed vintage fabrics.

During the show, a series of comments that John Galliano himself narrated with an ASMR effect - using current trends in his favor - described and informed the spectator about the origin of his inspiration to create the collection, about the composition of the different pieces and their changes in the process, in essence, any relevant data about the collection, addressing sustainability in an effective manner, being inventive but with conscience.

Galliano's Recicla proposal is about slower fashion, renouncing the accelerator of the destructive capacities of fast fashion to reconnect with the past. And the truth is that there is a different aura in old fabrics, a reflection of the passage of time that is difficult to replicate in new ones. It is more special, it brings a differentiation to the product that makes it impossible to imitate and of course, it contributes to give a new life to something that already exists, instead of creating it from scratch, with the environmental impact that this entails.


In the world of art, the artist Duchamp, with his work "The Bicycle Wheel" and "The Urinal", led the concept of up-cycling and was a great inspiration, also for fashion. Galliano's haute couture garments are like these objects, remade in such a way that they take on new life, become desirable again, thus breaking the cycle of consumption.

At the end of the 1980s, Martin Margiela caused a breakthrough in the fashion industry with his designs. Unfinished bottoms, visible seams, short sleeves and torn fabrics. La Maison made the inside of the clothes the outside, used unusual materials such as plastic and combined strong lines with new technical shapes. Now Recicla is serving as a diligent showcase and reminder of how fashion can bring about fruitful change in society amidst the uncertain fog, instilling the exact credibility and integrity that sometimes feels so far from the ruthless catwalk.



Rethinking the basic logic of fashion - making the new from the old and creating diversity using unique garments with the use of existing designs and methods is one of the tasks that must be accomplished. Galliano, focusing on sustainability - has extended the concept of Martin Margiela's original Replica to communicate with today's consumer, who has yet to put his ideas into practice.

Because, what if we could restore the world and re-establish these degenerate times, ending a decadent process and elevating the most authentic form of the essential? John Galliano at Maison Margiela has masterfully explored this territory and rescued a relationship with the products of the past, bringing back a renewed joy.