Maison Margiela AW2016/17 ‘Défilé’ Collection is a ‘raw-core’ touch, a synthesised heritage and artisanal intentions are crystallised. It is a non-traditional approach: the vocabulary of glamour subverted through the collage of authentic classics. Ladylike tropes play on the pillars of femininity and its subtle eccentricities – as the bourgeois and brutal are encrusted within hybrid garments. Unstudied and unconventional, surrealism and realism collide in urgent iconic moments. Disparate worlds align in a single silhouette, imbued with new desire.
Modest and elevated textiles play warm and cool textures against one another, from the sartorial elegance of a camelhair coat to the transparency of iridescent ‘comic pop’ knitwear. Ribbed melange wool is panelled into high briefs, arm warmers, and fully-fashioned sweaters with false collar details. Transparent Japanese lurex arrives layered into lustrous bi-colour gowns and a cape, creating a blurred ‘flou’ effect that continues as a shaggy feline print fil coupé.
Fine and exotic leathers abound, as featherweight water snake is panelled into a pleated skirt, or an eel skin teddy jacket is lined in check flannel. Shearling trims a suit as a new tuxedo stripe, reappearing as a coat sprayed in panther spots. The ‘rip and reveal’ motif manifests itself as shattered intarsia knits, and glitches appear in spliced tailoring or the clash of a cut-and-sewn polo dress. Pinafores and embroidered tabards are worn over shift dresses or blazers, alternating a puff-sleeve detail with the 2D effect of an extraneous garment.
Khaki wool is shaded with stripes of white flocking, whilst printed sequins span a spotlight degradé of violet and gold. Velvet is draped over tailoring to accentuate a ruched neckline and waist; elsewhere a flared silhouette appears as a smooth leather caban, an A-line skirt or the aviator cape crafted in antiqued shearling. A deep purple trench is backed in sheer ‘rip’ jacquard, whilst sunray-pleated satin fans across a tuxedo jacket. Inoffensive patches are applied as naïve symbols to jacket backs and sleeves, and rhinestones swirl across an embellished blouson.
A solid heritage colour wheel of monochromes, khaki and camel is intertwined with the rainbow reflections of the kaleidoscope, as the feline print and house-designed cartoon character are shaded in red, mulberry, silver and gold. Lumberjack checks and banker stripes respect their conventional tones, criss-crossed with nostalgic layers of chestnut brown, deep turquoise, and powder blue.
Perspex pins and brooches transpose graphic human features across collars and cuffs, lending a surreal attitude to masculine tailored coats. Pearl necklaces evoke an illicit taste of gentility. Western and cameo belts trail from the waist, whilst penny loafers and hiking boots are raised on platforms and block heels crafted in ponyskin, ostrich, calfskin and suede. The newly-launched ‘5AC’ handbag is now embellished with ‘birdpeck’ leather scales, airbrushed retro graphics and a metallic streak framed in white ‘duct tape’ finish.