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Maison Martin Margiela

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ACCESSIBLE ABSURDITY
Paris: Ever since Martin Margiela announced his retirement last December, the anonymous design team that has taken up the helm has been struggling to find its footing and strike the same balance between experimentation and accessibility that garnered the maison a cult-like following. While it was hard for anyone other than Lady Gaga to find meaning behind last season’s bodysuits and leather chaps, this season provided plenty of tangible concepts to digest, from its color palette to the out-of-the-box silhouettes. Many of the ensembles looked surprisingly tame from the front — mannish trousers worn with turtlenecks, pencil skirts topped by peacoats — however the models only had to turn the corner to show off a Margiela-esque, absurdist sense of humor. New gravity-defying silhouettes were proposed, like pants with straight waistbands that stood away from the body and large dorsal-cut sleeves that were more leg o’ kangaroo than mutton. Basic turtlenecks looked new in fetishwear latex and revealing sheers. Pencil skirts came in chic wool as well as provocative chiffon, and ranged from knee to ankle lengths. Fur vests were pleasantly straightforward, while exaggerated cable knit bibs seemed to poke fun at the resurgence of homespun fashions, but were appealing nonetheless. The palette of gauzy greys, cosmetic neutrals and pops of candy apple red and burgundy supported the overall wearability of the collection, although gigantic Yeti fur trapper hats that closed the show provided just enough subversion to keep people guessing about what the new designers will do next.
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