There are so many understatements behind the last collection of Maison Martin Margiela Artisanal (Fall 2013 Couture). Even if it was not printed on the clothes, one can easily read between the lines, for instance the asymmetrical sleeveless embroidered silk long top with the jeans and the vinyl platform boots, embodying the ideas like "viva the one-percenters" or "conformity is the language of corruption". Without going political like british seditionaries such as Dame Westwood, but the main concept remains, it is about creation, inventiveness, uniqueness, pushing couture to its highest and purest origins which is a never-ending laboratory.
MMM Artisanal has to be literally understood, by definition it means long hours of hardwork on each piece, but it also suggests a gathering process around the world of unique and precious fabrics like the sequined costumes from the 1930s Beijing Opera, the unknown source embroidered tapestry, or the beads that have been used to construct the masks and their matching cropped jacket. It is highly confusing for a couture line to promote D.I.Y Bricolage, cherished by Punk, giving life to vintage pieces that they combined together like a couture patchwork. It is like making something new with old materials, like the idea of mixing the basic boyish jeans with a unique vintage fabric. Somehow giving a value to something that doesn't have any like a pair of jeans, that you can find piles of in vintage stores. Couture is always giving more value to express a high-end luxury. So it is a kind of irony with the boyish jeans. If you are taking for granted MMM Artisanal bricolage, the vintage jeans are no longer basic vintage jeans, but a accumulation of denim fabrics from other vintage jeans that have been deconstructed and reconstructed in new vintage jeans, which is at the end of the day very rare, and we are no longer far from the definition of couture.
There is a redefinition of value, remember "there's value in bad taste too", clearly in the strong three opening looks, all made of vinyl, and also when you think of the whole collection, questioning in a way classical couture and its conception of beauty. Collection after collection, vinyl as a fabric is actually not awkward at all, in a sense that unconventional fabrics are part of the house's DNA. It is obviously not surprising to them to mix vinyl with silk, satin and tulle, always this idea of bringing the low and the profane, like the use of iridescent polythene, draped like a dress in the SS2011 collection. Here, tulle is becoming oversized coat dresses with faux flowers at the edge and, the decorative "crystalactites" for the boots (a collaboration with Swarovski) or the 19 masks of this last collection embroidered or beaded constitute a new approach to handcrafted accessories so dear to Artisanal "shadow" customers.
All these pictures can be found on DazedDigital.