MM6 Maison Margiela Avant-Premiere AW22
For the AW22 'Avant-Première' collection, MM6 Maison Margiela explores its utility-driven design codes through a subversive study of military wear. Rather than simply mine the genre's vocabulary, the house collective defamiliarises and reframes motifs, textures, and silhouettes typically associated with dressing for a battle, resulting in garments imbued with a resolute pacifist feel.
A boxy-framed watch coat in heather grey wool is dramatically cropped, counteracting the garment's officious connotations, and gilt-buttoned patch pockets lifted from 19th-century uniforms are transposed onto a chocolate suede miniskirt and écru cotton drill trousers.
Fabrics associated with military garments are fashioned into pieces that read anything but. The lightweight rib knit used for army-issue underpinnings becomes frilled crew, polo neck tops, and a fitted dress. The bulbous shell of the Cocoon coat is reimagined in sturdy quilted khaki nylon and lined in fluorescent orange -- a fabric combination also used for three new iterations of MM6's signature Japanese bag, as well as a pair of pencil case-shaped ballerina.
A similar spirit of subversion informs various aesthetic details that enhance the garment's function. On a zippered jersey hoodie and a turquoise version of the camionneur cardigan, the expected two armholes are replaced by a single circular cut-out on the reverse side, resulting in backless gilets that embrace the body. Elsewhere, a grey camionneur and a wool coat allow for multiple modes of wearing through cut-outs at the underarm. At the same time, alpaca-blend knits are decorated with seemingly moth-eaten holes that give access to the pockets of garments worn beneath and allow for the oversized sleeves to be worn as gloves.
Design choices are often made to enhance the wearer's comfort. The featherlight foiled cotton poplin of a belted raincoat mimics the timbre of vintage leather, and teddy-lined suede echoes shearling; off-centre rasterised trompe-l'oeil images of iconic MM6 garments are printed on bleached denim trousers and mesh dresses.
The cerebral tone is counterposed by pieces that tell of a playfulness, bordering on camp: a dog tag necklace and a reimagining of the anatomic-toe boot as an army-issue wool sock. Three leather accessories complement them:
A shoulder bag engineered with the contours of the body in mind and inspired by the form of water flasks.
A compact toolbox shaped crossbody bag.
A further crossbody option that references a mapholder bag.
For all its wit and irreverent decontextualisation, this is a wardrobe to be worn here and now, as the familiar setting of the collection's lookbook proves. Shot against the bar taps and dark wood interiors of a charmingly unpretentious Parisian hangout just a stone's throw from the house's headquarters, the clothes are seen as they should be worn -- as part of the fabric of everyday life.