After seasons of presentations, Maison Martin Margiela staged a show for its menswear—of sorts. The audience was herded into a room by lab-coated assistants and sat on bleachers before a scrim of curtains. The drapes drew back and there we were—backstage.

Models—handsome, older models, by the way, in one of the better cast shows this week—made their way through their preshow rounds of grooming, styling, and de-linting before lining up for their exits. The conceptual force of that revelation was a little blunted—who among the fashion-pro audience hasn't toiled backstage at a show?—but at least it gave you a chance to look long and hard at the clothes.

And those clothes? Well, the Margiela man tends to hew to the seventies swaggerer mold, and this season is no different. His suits are a little tighter and trimmer, but his louche heart is in the same place. Those suits came in cord and velvet along with pinstriped wool, and were worn with turtleneck sweaters. Outerwear was a particular standout, especially the pieces with mixed materials, including a coat that combined elements of a gabardine trench and a felted gray wool hunting jacket.