January 20, 2012
That camel and black are traditionally deemed "neutral" is, you imagine, exactly what made the minds at Margiela select them for their show. Subversion is the house code. Whether spurred by a yen to provoke or not, it was one of the best MMM shows in seasons. Camel coats and tailoring in actual camel hair had trad chic; piled on one another in tonal looks, they had a desirably weird tang. Then came sheepskin coats in that same color, with trompe l'oeil details shaved into the wool, followed by pieces lined or wholly realized in muskrat. By the time the camel topcoat veiled in a layer of Monoprix supermarket bags arrived, panache had gone to trash, round the bend, and back. (To underscore the point, polyethylene became the building block of oversize parkas; one cardigan, the company bragged as only this company would, was made of 1,000 garbage bags.) As for the black, its insistent appearance was as a straight-cut vinyl trouser, a recurring piece. In a season with a dungeon's worth of leather, faux took on a new flash.