The Margiela people really want the MM6 diffusion line to be seen as a New York brand. What that means, more than anything, is presenting clothes that people in this city would want to wear: urbane, utilitarian, and just forward enough.

Canadian singer Sean Nicholas Savage, accompanied by a keyboard, provided the stirring live soundtrack for MM6's Fall presentation on Tuesday night. The idea was to give outdoorsy, maritime-themed pieces a minimalist line. Black wellies were worn with spats and paired with a shift dress in cotton that was made to look (and feel) like paper. Black shorts, molded to sit away from the body, were also styled with the boots. A strapless romper—worn over a mannish button-up—resembled waders. While the flame-red fisherman's sweater may have been the most literal idea, it was also one of the best. Worn with a pair of white "paper" shorts, it had a welcome ease about it.

There were experimental elements, too. A T-shirt made out of bubble wrap was worn over a black bandeau and a pair of metallic orange shorts in denim laminated to look like leather. But adding the tactile bubble wrap under the sleeves of a black molded shirtdress was less expected, and definitely more thoughtful.

Thanks to celebrities such as Kanye West and Lady Gaga, the Margiela moniker is better known in the U.S. And MM6 has always been the practical point of entry. But these were pieces that one would want to buy without ever peeping the label. And that should be the goal, right? To have the clothes stand on their own.