Monday 1st March

| BY Emily Phillips

MM6 Maison Margiela: Ready-to-wear AW21

As a perturbing reaction to a socially distant world, the AW21 MM6 Maison Margiela collection was turned inside out, upside down and back-to-front. Reimagined staple garments revealed new design dimensions where exposed seams, exterior labels, and perplexing orientations reign. A single elementary question was the driving force behind the show: how do pieces transform when their iconic parts are slightly rearranged, or totally scrambled?

For a mnemonic cinematic experience, you’ll surely want to co-opt, the MM6 AW21 show is set against the backdrop of an alluring 1920s French cabaret. It was shot on location at the Maison des Métallos in the 11th arrondissement in Paris.  A suspenseful score, temperamentally warped and glitchy, echoes out from a pearly grand piano as proceedings commenced. Models promenaded down a candlelit catwalk littered with shimmering silver confetti. There was a nonchalant manner to their step, upholding a playful yet serious facade.

Simultaneously tongue-in-cheek and deadly serious, paradigmatic bourgeois aesthetics were corrupted and the conventional distinctions of day-to-night were blurred. From beginning to end, the reversal factor was high. Even functional items like jeans and the iconic MM6 lab coat were inverted. Think distressed inside-out jacquard knits, upside down clutches, and back-to-back trench dresses in obsidian, fuchsia and cobalt blue. Playing with perspectives, looks were swathed in faux-pearl ear pendants, upside down rings, and innovative partial headpieces for an unashamedly glamorous range.

The film concludes, mischievously intertwined with its start, showing a glittering ‘Fin’ sign and a slow-motion celebration. Time is a blur, purpose is stripped away and the topsy-turvy nature of the pandemic seems to fade. At MM6’s candle-lit cabaret, nothing is what it seems.

Photography courtesy of MM6 Maison Margiela.