Maison Martin Margiela Womenswear A/W11

The team behind MMM attempted to morph dresses into other types of garments

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If the last season was about a stubborn concept that did nothing but provide editorial pieces that were strong but not particularly wearable than MMM went down a dress-based route in this A/W11 collection, which nevertheless bore trademarks of Margiela’s mode of deconstruction and subverting perceptions. The dress here becomes something that is composite, in parts, revealing and concealing the body but in a heavy wool or a double bonded fabric, they also morph into a coat, evident in the first few looks. The coat-dress is something used to describe a coat which has the fabric qualities to also become a dress if all is buttoned up. Here the dress has an opportunity to become a coat as the cut-aways at the side or up the front.

It wasn’t as singular as last season’s memorable sandwich boards but the common thread was that dresses were cut into tops, bottoms, jackets and bottoms, as they all bore a wrap over skirt that sometimes revealed a floral printed sheepskin, slips in pastel colours but for the most part just revealed the at times, vulnerable women did themselves (incidentally the casting was purposeful to reflect ‘real’ women as opposed to models). Their slow paced walk where you saw each dress/coat flapping away at different sections, emphasized the symbolic undoing of the clothes and along with a schizophrenic soundtrack, seemed to create a tension in the air which made you look at the clothes again. Throw in a series of caftans, done Margiela-style in black and some lighter ones in a putty colour. The draping in dresses are actually not fluid but fully fixed by fusing the materials together for a controlled drape that only added to the hidden details abundant in the collection but perhaps made for a more subtle show.

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