The whole man/woman thing that designers use as a point of inspiration has been done more times than one cares to remember. But somehow, every time Masion Martin Margiela takes on this mainstay they really do seem to come at it from a new and quirky direction.
This season the path the house took was one that juxtaposes the classic suit a business man would don for the office with what a Vegas showgirl would wear to her work. Starting with a deep red suit crafted to be worn back to front, the jacket opening at the back held to the torso with ribbon ties, this show challenged the audience to reexamine their sartorial norms.
Some of the collection was a bit tricky like those back to front jackets, paints that finished off with a rigid band of sequins and crystals rising up to the hips, and detached sleeves, that were tied about the neck with ribbons tipped with big teardrop pearls, but there was much to admire too.
A black tulle and silk ruffle hemmed top paired with some easy black trousers found that perfect blend of the feminine and the masculine; as did a fitted velvet jacket that was cut with bands of blue fabric across the chest to evoke a military uniform. Even a more on the nose mix of a pearly pink corset embellished with circles of sequins worn over a black silk top and combined with a black coat and trousers looked as if it could be a rather cool cocktail alternative.
But as much as all of the flashing sequined corsets, shimmering crystal bra tops and one exceptional beaded gown might have been intended to draw the eye it was this shows quieter, more masculine, pieces that really shined.