Saturday, February 14, 2009

Martin Margiela's usual suspects



Except for this orange jacket, nothing in the Fall 2009 offering of Maison Martin Margiela would strike you as spectacular.

But before we go there, observe the material of this utility piece. It looks like leather, but it has a synthetic sheen to it. Something perhaps for the weather?

The pockets actually look like those found inside a suit, instead of outside. As is, you can imagine they can be filled with notepads, pens, postcards, receipts, paper money, credit cards, letters and notes - heck, even your mobile, a tape recorder, and a slim digital camera. It is designed for use.

This turning of ideas inside-out (not merely reversing clothes as done by Junya Watanabe) is typical of Margiela, who has gained admiration and a hallowed place amongst designers for being the most original.

He is truly a devil for detail, as evidenced by the material of the pants paired with this jacket. Whatever it's made of, its combination with the orange top is quite uncanny. The shoes also seem strange, in material and in shape - almost like hooves.



Under this second jacket appears to be a vest with the same compartments.



What I like about this is the diagonal placing of the pockets, the built-in collar, and the suggestion of cuffs.



This leather jacket has a unique character - from a different decade, but updated with a sci-fi personality. Acutally, the shapes on the shoulders give the idea of epaulets, and the other geometric forms may have actually been lifted from jackets made for other things.



Layered lapels that instantly made me think of ratatouille. But on one side only! (Are those buttons on the pocket flaps?)



An enormous necktie-cum-scarf built into a blazer under its equally angular wing lapels.

The double-breasted jacket has no visible buttons, and there is a pocket only on one side. (Is this Margiela's statement for asymmetry this season?)



Usually for pullover sweaters, cord knit looks wonderful for this robe. Notice that the pattern is different for the arms from that of the body and the shawl collar. And there is a pocket! (I want a close-up of those shoes!)



The supple leather pants, which look like the skin of an alien animal. The scarf appears to have a paisley pattern. There also appears to be a buttonless waistcoat, or is it just the trick of the repeated brown pattern?



I like these next few pieces for their stains. A simple yet quietly compelling idea.





(I also like the handle of the bag.)



For the jumpsuit-looking shirt and slacks tandem, it's all about the permanent creases. In the image on the right, Margiela once again releases jeans belted with blue denim.



The real statements from Margiela's pieces are the reworkings of period pieces and the new or updated details.



Do you think this makes the house outdated and even out of touch?



Many consumers don't think so.



There are those who make each collection a reason to celebrate, while there are others who stumble upon the invisible label (strangers to the enigma), try out some piece, and are unquestionably satisfied - without them even becoming a fan of the brand. (Notice the matching texture of the cummerbund and the lapels.)



The ordinary man or the eccentric.



Both Martin Margiela equally celebrates.



They are the usual suspects for an unusually creative designer "label".

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