All-black is the typical uniform for those working the “front of the house” at fashion shows. But last night at Maison Martin Margiela, lab coats indicated staff. The toppers might be reminiscent of a surgeon’s uniform, but skilled workers in the Paris ateliers also wear them.
It was a sign of unification for a house whose vision is collective: The line is designed by a team rather than one person. (The mysterious Martin Margiela parted ways with the brand years ago.)
For spring, the group effort resulted in a collection of menswear-inspired trousers and tops. There was a navy pinstripe tunic that was open in the back, a classic double-breasted trench coat transformed into a pinafore, and sensible square-toe pumps with a less-sensible cut-out heel. Heavily embellished corsets, dresses, and tanks offset the masculinity of the collection, and gave it the strangeness expected—and needed—from the house of Margiela. An elaborately beaded floral gown, for instance, was worn over simple navy pinstripe trousers. Separately, those two pieces are attractive and commercial. Together, they make you think.