Maison Martin Margiela
June 29, 2012 Paris
That piece was as elegant as it sounds. But the casual touches—scarves instead of shirts, espadrilles instead of shoes, drawstring waists, an absence of sleeves—lightened the structure. And, as ever, the Margiela studio's ingenuity with its materials was riveting. Like a waistcoat fashioned from soda-can ring-pulls. Or another stitched together from souvenir patches (hundreds of them were also pieced together for a coat). And still one more composed of shredded leather strips to form what the studio called a "summer fur." Vintage biker and band T-shirts were repurposed as graphic elements in a jacket and a pair of pants. The most striking effect was achieved by the fashion alchemy that treated cotton to transform it into what looked from afar like silver leather.
Today's show took place in the Hôtel Salomon de Rothschild, a nineteenth century mansion whose gilded, domed interior was about as far as conceivably possible from the underground car parks and marginal locales Martin himself favored. But the Margiela audience is changing with its culture. And the world is once more making its way to the maison's door.