window shopping with margiela's mm6 spring/summer 18

Celebrating its 20th birthday this year, MM6 mixed new and old, innovation and commemoration.

by Felix Petty; photos by Mitchell Sams
18 September 2017, 10:55am

Turning up to this season's MM6 presentation, you were greeted with a scrum on the street outside, as a mixture of bemused passers by, showgoers, and hangers-on assembled, while models took turns to play mannequins in the store windows. The silhouettes this season mixed simplicity with Margiela's traditional conceptual complexity.

Jeans and T-shirt for example -- as simple as it gets, yet also iconic enough to be easily and fruitfully fucked about. One T-shirt was made from cut-up hoodies, another the pattern taken from an old skate shirt (both were made as merch to commemorate the presentation and are available right now). The jeans were encased in clear plastic knee-high boots.

The aim was to mix together new and old Margiela, as well as wearable and conceptual. To find an identity for MM6 in London and Margiela in Paris under Galliano. To find Margiela's history in MM6's too, which is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year. To this end, materials from the archives and storerooms were remade and recreated into the collection, so there was plenty of cracked white paint, clear plastic and pieces patchworked into new creations.

Inside the presentation the walls had been covered with scrawled slogans, one, with a little chutzpah, proclaimed: "Sartre, Camus, Proust, Rimbaud, Margiela, Collette, Breton." Downstairs models and photographers and stylists were busy shooting, getting the lookbook ready to send out to press later in the day.

This is the third in a series of presentations the brand has done in London that, rather than just deconstruct the clothes (a la Margiela) has deconstructed the presentation format too, peeking behind the curtain to see how these things are made (white lab coats everywhere of course). It's hard for a diffusion line to find it's own identity, especially for a brand like Margiela whose always so steadfastly refused such easy plays on branding, yet in London, MM6 is slowly but surely -- with a dose of anarchy, fun and creativity -- getting there.

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