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Monday, January 26, 2009

Paris Men's Week: Maison Martin Margiela

By Rebecca Voight...

It has to be said: Martin Margiela is so full of great ideas, it's almost painful to watch. The first pain was just getting all the way to the show venue, La Maison de Métallos. The Paris cultural center is located way, way out in Paris's bohemian 11th arrondissement, which, despite the hike, is turning into a primo spot for groundbreaking fashion shows—yesterday it hosted Romain Kremer and Julius. Equipped with flashlights, Margiela's white labcoats led the audience, convened in small groups, into the theater, and there we stood as MMMs men’s collection appeared in a series of police line-ups in a narrow, glass-enclosed space. As usual, Margiela presents real clothes for men, not fashion statements.

But what seems banal at a glance is finely styled, down to the "wine stain" print shirts and “after-party” coats. As each unusual suspect came forward, one of those twangy, insincere American telemarketing voices boomed out what they were wearing. Within minutes I was laughing out loud, and it didn’t take long for the rest of the audience to lose it as well. Some of us laughed so hard we cried. Like I said, Margiela is painfully good. This season's Incognito aviator glasses, limited-edition python shoes, suede Postcard Holder vest and jeans with a subtle “rained on” look, via print and resin applications, are sterling examples of late '70s trashy dressing, as interpreted by a tongue-in-cheek maestro.

Maison Martin Margiela

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