Galliano has been a story-teller, a stream-of-consciousness creator since his very beginnings as a student who made his first historically-inspired French Revolution collection, Les Incroyables, in 1984. Images and self-imagined characters who connect the past with the present have stimulated and preoccupied him for his entire career. In 2021, finally, he’s seized the opportunity to bring those ideas alive through a medium that reaches far beyond the limitations of the catwalk formula. Even the lookbook of his collection breaks with standard conventions. Every shot on this page is a glimpse of a moving-image; each one a teaser drawing his audience into the web of his narrative.

But we’re here to elucidate what’s going on with his clothes. In what is probably the most personal of all the collections he has done for the hand-made Artisanal line—the house equivalent of haute couture—it’s a triumph of emotionally-driven material experimentation. He said it “came out of hours and hours of dialogue” in his studio, giving form to the conversations with the young group of house models—his ‘Muses’—who take part in his process of making clothes on their bodies; and who eventually act out their meaning. “They’re our community, almost like silent screen actors of the golden years. The clothes are their script.”