In its ‘Avant-Premiere’ Spring-Summer 2023 lookbook, MM6 Maison Margiela celebrates the arrival of summer’s freedom and long, balmy nights. Shot in the queue outside La Java, one of Paris’ best-loved nightclubs, it portrays an eclectic group of revellers who, though perhaps strangers,
are drawn together by the common purpose of relishing our newly regained nightlife.
The garments they wear celebrate the unexpected beauty discovered in the process of their making. Quotidian – mundane, even – pieces have been rigorously studied and rethought by hand, resulting in intriguingly unconventional riffs on clothes that you already know well.
A forest green wool blazer features appliquéd circular elbow patches – both a playful geometric adjustment of the traditional oval shape, and a nod to the status that the circle has acquired as an MM6 Maison Margiela ‘non-logo’. Tapered tailored trousers are given a five-pocket treatment typical of workwear pants, and easy-wearing ribbed tanks and striped cotton jersey T-shirts are vertically spliced with stepped crew necks; in more experimental iterations, they’re reimagined as sarong-like trails with multiple armholes that drape around the body, offering the wearer a sense of creative autonomy.
Elsewhere, curious experimentations in knit abound, with lightweight argyle vests in scarlet and black – and hefty intarsia sweaters in kaleidoscopic monochrome patterns – reversed, making an unexpected spectacle of the typically concealed side of the fabric. A similar logic informs oversized
tailored gilets, with raw-edged sleeveheads exposing layers of shoulder-padding beneath; the chewed hems on the Maison’s iconic ribbed camionneur cardigan; a jersey hoodie with sleeves slashed at armpit and joined at the cuff.
The eccentricity exhibited here comes into full force with broderie anglaise-trimmed pillowcases fashioned into cropped tops; circular flat-pattern viscose dresses printed with imagery shot in the reflection of this season’s polished spherical jewellery; ‘sunken’ sandals that give the impression that the wearer’s foot is sinking into the shoe’s bright, molten sole; and an innovative collar system found across cotton shirt dresses, denim jackets and zip-up knit cardigans. Created without distinct neckholes, the garments’ construction forces the otherwise familiar piece to be worn askew, as if dramatically yanked back.
Granted, while MM6 Maison Margiela’s yen for experimentation makes itself strongly felt, foundational wardrobe staples make up a significant part of the collection. Shirting in crisp poplin and pre-creased viscose satin returns in more generous proportions, with the same striped cotton fabric being used for lightweight notch-lapel blouson. 14 oz denim jackets appear in both fitted
and oversized proportions, and outerwear nods to weather-hardy British sartorial staples – think leather-panelled donkey jackets in dark Melton wool and gabardine trench coats.
While this is a collection that looks to core wardrobe elements beyond the MM6 Maison Margiela universe, it also riffs on the house’s very own icons, too. Depictions of the house’s Parisian headquarters feature across knit sweaters and shorts, and a printed version of the Japanese bag features scans of MM6 Maison Margiela’s most emblematic pieces.
Elsewhere, the Japanese bag returns across a range of iterations — boxy shoulder bags in brushed calfskin; crossbody flat pouches; oval-bottomed versions with adjustable handles in polished leather — and even lends its distinctive silhouette to a pebbled leather slip-on shoe. Further accessories debuts come by way of a new zippered hat bag, and the Trois 6 – a jigsaw assemblage composed of three top handle and crossbody bags in matte calf leather.