At Maison Margiela’s Spring 2017 Couture show in Paris on Wednesday, John Galliano sent out a lineup of masterfully cut skirts and dresses that were as beautiful as the story behind them. Perhaps the most beautiful piece from the offering (certainly the most instagrammed) was look 24––a snow-white coat with sheer, black chiffon detailing that begins as the jacket’s lining before pouring out into a woman’s face. The ensemble was created in collaboration with Sydney-based artist Benjamin Shine, who is known for handcrafting jaw-dropping portraits of icons (such as Elizabeth Taylor and Sheikha Mozah) out of tulle. “It was a tremendous honor to collaborate on this piece, and incredibly enjoyable, too,” Shine tells Vogue Arabia about working with the British designer.
Here’s what else Shine told us about the design:
#1. Mr. Galliano had been a fan of the artist’s tulle artsmanship for some time. They worked together at Maison Margiela for several months, brainstorming ways on how they could manipulate the technique to work with the form of a moving body.
#2. Shine created multiple versions before finishing the final piece. The runway version took several hundred hours to craft.
#3. The piece evolved from ironing and bonding the material to entirely hand-stitching a single piece of tulle.
#4. Despite the uncanny resemblance, the woman pictured in the tulle is in fact not Kate Moss, but an “anonymous” figure. Galliano designed Moss’ wedding dress and credits the supermodel for enabling him to pick up the pencil again.