For SS19 MM6 Maison Margiela created a democratic, egalitarian uniform dedicated to enhancing their ready to wear collection by adopting a streetwear identity. Including womenswear, accessories, footwear and jewellery, the collection points to their beliefs in social and political responsibility. Set in an old warehouse, the dim lighting and low drop chandeliers set the scene.
Influenced by the AIDES t-shirt created in 1994 for the French charity, the collection rethought and aimed to reconstruct the concept of charitable cast-offs. Representative of 20th century charity balls, the collection features long silk gowns in glamourous pinks, reds and purples accompanied by silk arm length gloves and statement accessories. The more casual pieces also encompassed the charitable theme; noting the words “THERE IS MORE ACTION TO BE DONE TO FIGHT AIDS THAN TO WEAR THIS T SHIRT BUT IT’S A GOOD START”, on both the interior and exterior of the garments.
Used as a foundation for the collection, objects from a vendor at the Paris flea markets at Clignancourt instill the idea of rediscovery and the ‘replica’ notion central to the Margiela ethos. The Parisian tradition and heritage has been translated to London resulting in a younger aesthetic; mainly alluding to the urban streetwear evident within London’s diverse city.
The brand took sustainability at its helm, using age-crushed vintage dresses appliqued to cotton sweatshirts and the idea of satin bags used to package chocolates in the 1900s being scaled up to become shift dresses. Advancing on the colour palette associated with the Belle Epoque, the collection embeds colours borrowed from a different time; including pistachio, pink and pastel purples punctuated with white, black and denim blues.
New romantic white shirts with flared sleeves, dressed with tailored waistcoats, combined past and present trends with a rivalry between formal and casual. Pleated satin skirts and ruffled shirt dresses juxtaposed distressed denim and reworked leather, whilst boat necklines were perfectly on trend. Waterfall patchwork denim and cape layered looks were prominently dressed with netted tights on the runway, paired with large reworked bags in black, white, leather and satin.
The underlying message of the collection: The sustainable process for garments should not just be limited to the flea market. Ideas and concepts can be reworked, reused and reappropriated and therefore exploited in their entirety. Hence the reimagined Margiela signature pieces including the patchwork denim, distressed leathers and narrow-shouldered cotton tailoring.
Blurring the lines between space and body, the jewellery reflected the space the collection is expounded in; using chandelier crystals, whilst the sunglasses tuned back to functionality for SS19. Covered entirely with flocking, vision is obscured, but like their original intention, they shade the eyes.
Footwear on the other hand saw an imitation of the iconic ‘Tabi’ boot. Both heels and plastic shoes were worn with socks creating a lookalike effect of the ‘Tabi’ shape. The runway also saw white chunky boots, pointed embellished heels and a variation of coloured sandals.
A portion of the sales of every piece will be donated to benefit the AIDES organisation.
By Olivia Seed