by pascal iakovou
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For Spring/Summer 2022, MM6 Maison Margiela invites you to La Belle Aurore, a beloved Milanese rendezvous, to turn to your neighbour and clink glasses; to eat, drink and be merry. Extroverted and eclectic, consider this collection a heightened celebration of life’s return to our cities’ bars, restaurants and streets; of the surreal, cinematic experience of seeing faces from different walks of life once again come together in the same place. Feelings of giddy joy inform jaunty graphic effects. Red and pine green mylar chessboards printed directly onto denim trousers and wool tailoring subtly morph as the wearer moves, while an abbreviated jacket — derived from last season’s gabardine coat — and a version of the house’s signature Japanese bag bear textures that simulate psychedelic warps. Their bulbous contours are echoed in this season’s new leather shoe silhouette, a swollen derby, while a leotard bears a trompe l’oeil rope print, and leather-effect pants and jackets are in fact cut from the boiled cotton cloth typically used for the house’s blouse blanche. Sleeves and gloves become key vehicles for the collection’s surreal undertones, protruding from trouser waistbands, bag handles and even the back panels of a leather jacket, and traces of the making process are felt in a kraft paper bustier and an intricately pleated calico ruff skirt. There’s a sense of playful contradiction and subversion at play: peak-lapelled jackets are meticulously crafted from a silk-blend fabric the colour of humble toiling fabric, and opera gloves the same shade as the pair of Marigolds you use for doing the dishes; swooning satin evening dresses are made in lining fabric with their rough selvedge kept intact. It’s a spirit echoed in the rebelliousness of the surrealist women artists that inspired the MM6 Maison Margiela collective this season — Claude Cahun, Leonora Carrington and Dorothea Tanning among them. Their influence makes itself felt in off-kilter details like the gravity-defying float of collars and a foulard, lavender-filled teabags worn as pendulous earrings, and ‘broken’ pearl chains. Where it’s perhaps most evident, though, is in this season’s MM6 Maison Margiela x Eastpak collaboration. For this sophomore capsule — available in Spring 2022 — the offering extends to faux fur wheeled luggage, ‘dripping’ iterations of the Pak’r backpack, an enlarged shoulder version of a flat wallet, and hybrid interpretations of the Japanese bag. It all amounts to a heightened vision of the familiar — a displacement of the quotidian beyond the threshold of the norm. It’s a celebration of how humble pleasures like an aperitivo among friends or a leather jacket’s snug fit can become supernormal events well worth commemorating. In a continuation of a house tradition, this season, MM6 Maison Margiela shares a limited edition souvenir t-shirt. A physical token of the sense of community that characterises today’s show, you’ll see it worn tonight by members of the house collective and La Belle Aurore’s staff. Just like all the clothes you see here on the runway, we hope you’ll wear yours for years to come.



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