It’s a nice moment for the designer, considering it represents a landmark in his road to recovery after his highly visible fall from grace. It also happens to be completely antithetical to the original ethos and designs of Martin Margiela, the founder of Maison Margiela.

When Margiela appeared on the fashion scene in the late 1980s, he stood in stark contrast to the fashion system that prevailed. His avant-garde clothes were deconstructed and reconstructed: Dresses came together from a bricolage of men’s bow ties or gloves, jackets were covered in gaffer tape. He used weird proportions, offbeat models, and if there was glamour, it was an iconoclastic, intellectual sort. It wasn’t exactly red-carpet attire.

“He didn’t only introduce new clothes, he commented on the system, which was by then already very perverted and dominated by money,” Olivier Saillard, a fashion historian, says in the short documentary Yoox released about Margiela last month.

Margiela, who famously tried to remain as anonymous as possible, left his namesake label in 2009, several years after selling a majority stake to Renzo Rosso, owner of Diesel.

Today Galliano is making beautiful clothes for Maison Margiela, smiling for the camera, and chasing his creations up the red carpet, none of which was ever the point. It’s a new chapter—for both the designer and the house.

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