Destined to reach a broader public this holiday season as H&M’s next guest designer, the brand that Martin built was in full-on avant-garde mode for spring, from the relentless, brain-rattling music to the decor — a Parisian mansion whose gilded interior was cloaked, but for the chandeliers in white plastic.
The collection, severe and a bit strange, fit in perfectly with its offbeat surroundings. The show opened with a stiff, rectangular bustier dress in cement gray slit high up the back, leaving the front panel to ride up awkwardly (and on purpose, this being Margiela). Angular shapes and bare shoulders became running themes. There were flaring tunics in men’s wear fabrics for day, worn over square-ish white shirts and full-legged trousers; and an array of trapeze bustiers or off-the-shoulder gowns for evening.
The graphic, almost childlike simplicity of the clothes was sometimes striking, as in an enveloping, one-shouldered, gown in stiff crinoline, the palest shade of lavender. Clunkers included a smothering, padded T-shirt gown that was as lumpy as an old sofa.