John Galliano nimbly proved he’s been studying as he takes over a label that is virtually his alter-ego. In his debut of Maison Margiela ready to wear on Friday, the designer wowed guests with clownish models who skulked the runway in trim velvet suits and witch-like dresses. The Margiela touch came with coats that swung like backpacks, suspended from suiting-type vests. The Margiela logo—three stitches of white thread—sometimes came in the middle of the back rather than at the nape of the neck.
Henceforth, Mr. Galliano has apparently been forgiven for his trespasses. The fashion industry’s elite editors and retailers lined up to see his ready-to-wear debut, four years after he was fired from Dior for drunken racist slurs.