Maison Martin Margiela



Paris: It is remarkable how differently a men’s basic button-up shirt can be interpreted. Earlier this week, Dries Van Noten altered the proportions, fabrics and accouterments of the shirt to propose a fresh new vision of sportswear. It goes against the Margiela ethos to ever be that straightforward, however; in this collection the shirt became the basis for an absurdist world of sandwich-board silhouettes, futuristic fabrics and a heavy dose of darkness. The collection started off normally enough with sexy fitted shirtdresses, boxy blazers and on-trend long-over-long ensembles. And then came those sandwich-board silhouettes. Large rectangles of fabric, ranging from oxford cloth to leather, appeared sandwiched together with the outlines of the body sewn in, leaving the excess to hang in space. And those were the more wearable examples – trench coats and evening dresses were actually reinforced with boards to retain their shapes. Underneath all the severe geometry were a handful of good ideas. The tops were relatively gimmick-free, with a bodysuit inset with a bra panel and a leather-front tank among the standouts. Flared maxiskirts and pleat-front trousers and tuxedo pants also looked appealing – sans square hips. Perhaps it was a commentary on the current minimalist proclivity for stark, structured shapes, or maybe the creative team, without its namesake leader, struggled with ways to subvert the human body. Either way, it was a step back from F/W 10’s strong collection, in which the designers were finally able to balance concept and clothes.

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