Fall Winter 2010
Maison Martin Margiela has such a track record of unconventional presentations, that the idea of a runway show of their mens collection seems almost absurd now. From films shown in cafes, to defilés in railway stations and disused parking lots, there has been no shortage of unusual and often ‘low-brow’ locations to disengage guests from the glitz and glamour of Paris presentations. For Fall Winter 2010, Margiela returned to the Maison des Métallos in the 11th district, a modern hall that lacks any grandeur or history of french architecture – simply a blank canvas which the house succeeds in making, well, even more blank.
A lab-coated assistant pulls aside a white canvas curtain as we entered the room, revealing a rudimentary café setup with bottles of wine, glasses and a ‘menu’ placed on square tables surrounded by white plastic chairs. The back wall was covered entirely in a black and white photograph of a café scene from the late 1950s, with ladies and gentlemen frocked and suited, all seemingly watching with expectation. As we sat at our table, we noticed a single seat out of the four is marked ‘RESERVED’.
As the presentation begun and the first model made his way around the tables we understood why the seat was reserved, as he ended his walk by finding a place on an adjacent table and joining the guests to watch the rest of the parade. Each model did the same, wandering around the room at a placid pace before seating himself at a table, until all twenty six looks had been shown and the models stood in unison and exited to light applause.
The garments themselves were “an abstraction of black and white photography” said the house, and were indeed a study of monochrome, executed in unusual textural and technical fabrics. Soft nappa leather tee shirts were a basis for several looks, a particular point of difference for what was a rather by-the-book collection for Margiela’s established menswear formula. Suiting in a plethora of checked and dotted flannel wools was worn with a strong but rounded shoulder, slim and long in the body. Trousers were also slim, printed in oversized dots, stripes, patched with leather or worn with a cummerbund. Jackets came as a classik biker, Prince-of-Wales macintosh, and with sheepskin accents. Interesting details could be seen in a shoe imprinted with the silhouettes of bent nails, and an Artisanal Line waistcoat embroidered with leather polka dots on stalks resembling small mushrooms or confetti.
With some models sporting messy hair and long beards, the casting complemented the backdrop well, and as the models sat at our tables they could almost have been mistaken for just another well-dressed editor or buyer in a head-to-toe ‘look’!
Permeated with a sense of quiet unease and awkward clatter helped on by the soundtrack of atmospheric café sounds by Radio Mentale, the show was a true echo of what Maison Martin Margiela has become as a brand.
Photography by Linus Sundahl-Djerf. Courtesy of the Maison Martin Margiela.
POSTED BY DAN THE SCOUT
"And what one can begin to expect
from their well-honed menswear aesthetic."