Behind Maison Margiela, the beacon of conceptual fashion, there is Maison Margiela, the pragmatist. Today, that was plenty clear when taking in the collection as a whole, without lingering on details, as much of what was shown could be imagined finding its public on retail racks.
As the collection progressed, that grown-up reality felt eroded as details came to light. Beyond the featherlight trench coat and the slim suit with a dash of texture play, came the more conceptual pieces, pants with one leg at knee level and the other, long. Interspersed between these were the building blocks of a man's wardrobe, cobbled together from improbable fabrics. On a number of looks, the footwear was the improbable mixture of the ever-popular low boot and clogs. Collegiate patches became faux-tattoos on illusion mesh. This has long been one of the mainstays of MMM, reworking the old, challenging old ideas, remaking.
Much like the university it was being shown in, the collection featured being taken apart and rebuilt nearly in its original state. But here and there, threads were laid bare on a suit, or trousers constructed from one half denim and the other half a suit trouser, belted together. The durability of parachute silk, belied by its diaphanous nature, only underscored the delicacy of the collection. Subliminal message, we are all vulnerable, but stronger than we look.
Beyond the intellectual appeal of what they do, the MMM hive mind produces things that are to be desired but kept. However, not counting the visual puns that has house fans going, it was not as strong a statement as other seasons. But is that a bad thing, when the result turns out lovely?