It's getting harder to remember that Martin Margiela was ever considered one of those designers who trawls the dark, intellectual side of the street. Sure, there's still a waft of high concept around ideas like his Replica range, but who knew the guy was such a stone-gone disco nut? The collection that celebrates Margiela's ten years in menswear was the apotheosis of his love of mirror balls: scarves, jacket lapels, even leggings (in themselves, a disco notion) were wrapped in reflective surfaces. There was also a celebratory scatter of confetti over shirts and shoes. They underlined the collection's emphasis on light and air. A suede blouson was laser-cut in tiny slashes to open it up. So was a navy blazer. And trousers had a side seam of laser-cut fabrics twisted together to create a chevron effect.
Margiela has always been a master of arbitrary notions made appealing. It mightn't seem like much of an idea to make a waistcoat and jacket with buttons folded under to provide a smooth, detail-less front, but it actually looked pretty good. And even the Replica concept (which one occasionally feels like filing under "Why Bother?") produced a smart, unstructured jacket from Buenos Aires in the seventies. One of the intriguing subtexts of Margiela World continues to be his tough-as-nails accessories. Here, it was literally nailshammered into the heels of boots and shoes, bent into belt buckles and pendants.
Spring 2009 Menswear
Maison Martin Margiela
See all Timeline