Maybe Martin’s no longer head of the Maison, but his influence continues to linger, as evidenced in the Spring Summer 2011 mens catwalk collection. Eagle eyed readers will not doubt recall our fairly recent jaunt to Somerset House’s retrospective, which provided further proof of the ingenuity of the label, if it were needed. Continuing to expound themes central to the ethos of the original founder, artisanal craftsmanship moves from found object bricoalge to the upcycling of rather dubious wood finishes, more commonly associated with bargain basement furniture. Under the expert knowledge of the Margiela team, veneer wood is applied to waistcoats, wide cummerbunds and woven lattice jackets.
The sharp minimalism is exaggerated by the wafer thin veneer, which slopes over the shoulders, creating a smooth and flat surface that contrasts sharply against cotton and wool fabric underlayers. The ongoing fascination with upcycling, and as the need to find new uses for old and unwanted objects migrates from the unusual to the everyday, Margiela’s design is a relevant, yet avant garde take on the trend. Pared-down and simplified, the process is very much distanced from all conventional connotations of eco and sustainable fashion…without not a plastic bag trouser or vegetable tie-dye t-shirt in sight. If this is the future, alongside Thom Browne’s innovative astronauts, we’re sold. Forget Maria and those patterned curtain in the Sound Of Music, we’re suggesting you go one step further and dismantle your wardrobe. Who needs furniture anyway, its sooo last season darling….