In a postmodern world, masculine fragility need not hide behind closed doors.
The Maison Margiela questions the tropes that define the role of man in today’s society – his uniform, his armour, and the tactile underpinnings of his sartorial wardrobe. When all expectations fall away, what melancholic remnants remain in his age of post-emotional experience?
Answers abound in the salvaged effects of past lives, when archetypes were once vested with authenticity. Gradations of the two-piece suit reflect process and power, as the proud craft of full-canvas tailoring is rendered decorative by exposed basting stitches (like spontaneous embroidery). Coat shoulders are rounded and soft, trousers fall to a loose cuff, and shirtsleeves flutter in silk poplin. Domestic foulard prints like curtains or tablecloths are illustrated with pastoral scenes and heraldic insignias, re-assembled as new shirting hybrids snapped together with salt-shrunk jersey or chambray cotton. Sepia-toned tweeds and Prince of Wales checks mingle with technical shell tanks and purist knit swimsuits that evoke a lost athletic elegance. Square-toed loafers fold down at the heel, and lace-up boots become a trompe l’oeil sandal.
Produced from found garments of varying sources and periods, ‘Replica’ styles are signified by an external white label, whilst a selection of seven ‘Re-edition’ garments return to the Spring Summer 2017 collection from within the Maison’s archives – designed between 1999-2005.
The rain falls down on last year’s man, an hour has gone by and he has not moved his hand.