• Text Alex James Taylor
  • 27th September 2020

Mad world

The MM6 Maison Margiela design team are well versed at exploring weird worlds and unusual molds, creating collections that tug at the strings of reality. So when they discovered that they would have to create their SS21 offering from home, it offered more of a head scratch than an ache.

If nothing else, this season gave designers plenty to ponder and get their teeth stuck into. Using these unfamiliar circumstances as inspiration, MM6 honed in on the blurring of corporate and domestic spaces: as we’ve had to adapt to working where we live, it’s altered everything from our relationships to eating habits, sleeping patterns and clothing.

Presented as a film directed by Alex Silberstein, this format actually proved a useful source, as the camera zoomed in and out around the collection – during an in-situ lookbook shoot – we were given a 360 view of each piece, creating the 2D equivalent of a POV VR photoshoot.

As for the clothing, the press release read: “The popular adage of ‘business on top, party on the bottom’ is pertinent, as subversive ensembles are optimized for video conferencing, daydreaming, and the new 9-5.” Mirroring the skewed sense of familiarity that has become the norm, MM6’s signature trompe l’oeil and subversive tropes thrived as garments were sliced and spliced to create new form: pinstripe sleeves are chopped to elbow length, trouser legs wrap as a V-neck jumpsuit and schoolgirl satchels merge with cotton tote bags. This technique proved an intelligent way of portraying the ever-blurring split between our work and home lives – remember, nobody on a Zoom call can tell you’re still wearing pyjamas waist down.

Elsewhere, archive polka dots found their way across pleating and combination looks that sent our eyes funny while Margiela hallmarks appeared as typewriter descriptions were pasted from the backdrop onto garments, and that classic white calico chair covering you see across Paris’ cafes was reimagined as a short cotton dress. Trust MM6 Margiela to find comfort in a world stranger than ever.