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MM6 Maison Margiela Avant-Première SS24

by pascal iakovou
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A carefully positioned dart softens a sleeve into a rounded port des bras, a minimalist white safety pin hovers between the opening of a jacket like a dancer taking flight, delicate seam work encircles the torso – AVP SS24 develops and articulates the subtle details and gestures that have the power to transform a garment; to take it from rehearsal to flawless performance so to speak.

Even couture techniques – the epitome of perfection – contribute to this notion of a work in progress when applied to humble fabrics, forging garments with a gentle and approachable yet refined aesthetic. Necklines of dresses, t-shirts, tops, coats and tailored jackets in cotton poplin, twill, jersey or wool are ruched to create volume around the shoulders that then cascades down the body – a silhouette reminiscent of those achieved by early 20th-century maisons. A prom dress with asymmetric ruffles is cut from silver Tyvek, a double nod to industrial workwear and the idiosyncratic interiors of Pop artists’ studios. In order to let creative ideas and subtle details sing, flamboyant materials have been eschewed. Capacious trousers, hoodies and sweatshirts made from brushed sweat jersey, and wide-leg denim jeans bring a sense of ease to the collection. Familiar garments are injected with a fresh attitude, Jacquard knits, for instance, are patchworked into roll-neck vest tops, lapels are stripped from blazers leaving the edges raw and tailoring and denim jackets are slashed at the waist. Padded gilet linings bring an added sharpness to the tailoring, so the garment hovers off the body with an almost surrealist effect. A soft edge polka dot print reemerges from the archive across flowing dresses, a glowing spotlight in contrasting blue, turquoise and neon green hues. A digital print of two zips, like those that spiral down the legs of a pair of baggy jeans, imparts wit onto a classic t-shirt
and transposes utilitarianism into embellishment.

The ongoing creative dialogue between MM6 and the French sportswear manufacturer Salomon, whose designs are as ubiquitous on the streets of Paris as they are on hiking trails, continues for a fourth season. The Xt-4 all-terrain shoes, which meld style and function with their single-pull lacing system and exaggerated lugs, are reimagined as an open-back mule. Another key footwear style is the canvas boot – a facsimile of a German army style that has been demilitarised and tempered with highlighted contours to create a truly original design. Never-before-seen accessory designs with archival accents are introduced alongside MM6 archetypes. The number plate signature is revived as a metal closure or embossing on bags and small leather goods, as well as print on ready-two wear – an antidote to label and logo-driven meme and TikTok culture. The Numeric shoulder bag makes its debut in large and mini sizes in addition to the medium, which was unveiled last season. Its triangular shape and flap closure – punctuated with the metal numeric plate – is inspired by the beloved Japanese bag only with sharp and crisp lines and seam work for a minimal silhouette, and comes in shades of black, sage or lime green leather.

The AVP SS24 lookbook seeks to offer a series of dynamic and malleable propositions for the client. Shooting and styling happen simultaneously to create images that are suitably open-ended. Looks are composed on a single model with a subtle attitude, laying bare the transformative power of clothing. Garments and accessories are combined in unexpected ways – Salomon x MM6 mules with tailoring and dresses, a gathered ankle dress over wide-legged trousers – flashes of turquoise and silver radiate from the otherwise monochromatic palette. Every piece is genderless, after all, MM6 is designed to emphasise the personality of the wearer, not overpower them. These garments leave space for self-expression, they are an invitation to partake in the artistic process – a work in progress.

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