Kiki Georgiou reports on the Maison Martin Margiela show
Yesterday’s show was that somewhat rare thing in fashion; dreamy, inventive, desirable and…yep, wearable.
What’s in a name? In fashion, at least, the answer appears to be ‘more than a person’. A legend, a set of codes that inform every decision made under that person’s name, with or without him/her. Handy for big fashion houses when the founder or star designer is no longer in place - tricky to pull off however, and we don’t need to name names here. Because, rhetorical questions and long-winded answers aside, when you close shut the code book and pull down the reference boards you’re left with plain talent and intuition and, in Mr Margiela’s case, the team that’s working without him in the Maison that he founded has plenty of both. Yesterday’s show was that somewhat rare thing in fashion; dreamy, inventive, desirable and…yep, wearable.
For a start, the mere image of fashion folk furiously rubbing their thermo sensitive invites to reveal the location of the show warrants a comedy award to whoever came up with that. The interior of the Hôtel Salomon de Rothschild was covered in white plastic leaving just the chandeliers exposed and a general feeling of sitting inside a giant carrier bag. The Dadaistic music that started playing combined with any thoughts of accidental suffocation, inspired by the ceiling, would have been enough to cancel any positive thoughts you had for the collection but there’s a lot of love and good will for the Maison and anyway, what was shown completely took over. There was a quiet glamour about the simple grey strapless dress that opened, mid-calf at the front, cut shorter at the back and that sense was carried throughout. Long black gloves accompanied some of the dresses adding to that. The silhouette was long and easy, the palette mainly soft grey, mauve, green and black. Here’s a key look: long, cap-sleeved black or grey coat over fluid high-waist trousers. How unfussy and elegant. A bow of a top with the same black trousers or a maroon dress with a heart-shape bust were fantastic suggestions for evening and a black satin wide tee over a sheer gazar gown skirt deserved to be worn on a red carpet, only to embarrass all the over-embellished mermaid gowns around it. Tilda, are you reading this?
The evening looks that closed, shimmery, full cover-ups, made the point of this new glamour perfectly. But just before them, two simple dresses came out, one in white, the other in grey marl and they had all the ease and modernity of the t-shirt and all the structure and design of a great designer. Or a whole team of them, working under one Maison. That’s a lot for a name to carry but if anyone’s can do it, it’s Martin Margiela’s.