The first silhouettes of the new MM6 collection for Pre-Fall 2016 repositions the brand and relaunches the new era beginning for Maison Margiela. There has always been a deep understanding of the street culture at Maison Margiela, it's almost in its DNA. And once again, these street/underground/youth culture vibes are well captured by the design team. Nowadays, this whole "street thing" is partially blurred and so many designers are influenced by this movement that it's sometimes hard to know if it's Maison Margiela or a brand like Vetements for instance who did it first. We have to admit that the very first silhouette of the collection (a long bomber jacket + thigh boots) could come from a Vetements collection but since Demna Gvasalia & his team are influenced by Margiela it's just a vicious circle!
The time period thing is over in Fashion since there are no more influences such as the 90s or 80s nowadays. They are part of the street fashion codes, it's a movement and much more than a mere influence. High Fashion is now doing streetwear and depicts it according to its own codes. Mixing the styles, the time periods, the movements is something so common now in Fashion and it's obvious in these Pre-Fall silhouettes.
The MM6 Spring Summer 2016 "reboot runway show" in London back in September was based on nightclubbing and it's underground culture. Here, it's a wider perspective proposed by the Margiela Design team led by John Galliano from an experimental clothing to versatile pieces, a fusion of styles & influences with the famous (and quite subversive for its time) painting Gabrielle d'Estrées et une de ses sœurs [ where one of the women is pinching the other's tit and making a 6 with her fingers] as a starting point. At first sight, this inspiration may seem quite abstract, except for the 6 and for some "Renaissance-inspired" pieces. However, this is a fundamental choice to represent two women in these pictures and to play with this idea of sisterhood & femininity, of subversion vs innocence. Something departing from the SS16 collection that had a more genderless vibe. According to us, this is the vision of a teenage girl who is not a girl but not yet a woman as Britney would have said.
But, instead of trying to find a meaning behind this inspiration and making uncertain assumptions about what lies beneath this Pre-Fall, let's focus on the clothes. It's a wardrobe of strong pieces, sometimes quite experimental that can be used in different ways like the styling is suggesting and after all, don't forget the Margiela touch, nothing must be for granted. When we discovered the collection on Vogue.com, we had to enlarge the pictures to get the full MM6 experience and to see the details & the layering. Even with this process, sometimes we were "is it a jacket? a shirt?". That's what we love so much about Maison Margiela & its little sister MM6, this inventiveness, this creativity knowing no limits, no borders. We are blurred sometimes and we love it. Take the long bomber that could be a jacket or a dress worn with thigh boots. For Maison Margiela, a garment should always be more than a garment. It has a function. The second silhouette is our favourite. An oversized plaid shirt worn over a leather coat, a sheer top, leather culottes and with gorgeous neo buckled Chelsea boots. This styling is everything. There is an ambivalent vibe in this whole collection (composed of only 13 looks!), a mix of low & profane with couture techniques (the pleats on the leather skirt & top for instance). It's also quite obvious in the fabrics used: leather, sheer materials and acid black denim in the form of long/short shearling jackets (that could be bought in thrift shops) or the big acid like printed neo poncho/sweater. A very Margielesque kind of trompe l'oeil. This raw & very young vibe is counterbalanced by some more feminine & soft looks such as the Victoriana dress worn with a crop COME tee-shirt and a chain belt with a 6 lock. Soft & hard in the same silhouette, the savoir-faire & aesthetics of MM6 summed up in only one look!
|Ecole de Fontainebleau - Portrait présumé de Gabrielle d'Estrées et de sa soeur la Duchesse de Villars|
Words by Yann Sackville West & Charles Margueritte
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