The intentionally ironic “flipside” often engaged by Maison Martin Margiela can at times be disconcerting. On most days, we love the brand’s highbrow wit and subversion; its H&M capsule was inarguably one of the best high-fashion/high street collaborations we’ve seen to date. Yesterday for a split second, we couldn’t tell if the joke might be on us though.
Case in point: It showed in a warehouse on 32nd street, billed as “Cafe Rouge” that sits across the street from one of those midtown mega-delis called “Cafe R”. As we struggled with our GPS to discern the correct show location, we realized that it was not completely beyond the realm of possibility that the brand would show its collection-level togs alongside those often-suspect, hot-food buffets. Upon sorting out our navigation strategy–basically, turning our iPhone upside down–we entered the presentation’s raw hangar space and totally had one of those sitcom “fashion” moments; you know, the ones where the average Joe steps into the wacky three-ring fashion circus.
Don’t get us wrong, the clothes were stellar; a clever experiment in glitter-glam cocooning, they were all about imagining if Ziggy Stardust really got a chance to do a modular moonwalk. The fur-printed down outerwear was the presentation’s hit, and had us (along with editors to our left and right) wishing we could snag one of the cuddly, comforting parkas to wear back out onto the street. It was for these reasons that perhaps the staging could have been dialed-down just a smidge; the model’s walked back and forth on a platform as dictated by what could only be some sort of mathematic algorithm (smart gals!), before charging down through the central path of the space, and exiting through the same door being used by all in attendance to enter. Of course one in every three Margiela-clad guests entering the presentation collided with a galloping model upon walking through this dual purpose passageway (fashion Schadenfreude at its best).
We were about to reach for our GPS-challenged iPhone in order to capture some of this spectacle on video, but realized we were running a bit behind the day’s schedule. Hurrying out of the hangar through the exit–as fate would inevitably have it–we ran smack-dab into the latest presentation entrant. C’est la vie Margiela!