MM6 is a complementary vision that is an ode to the femininity within the ethos of Martin Margiela. The Belgian native launched the namesake label in 1988, and although he is no longer with the house, his design spirit lives on. Serving as a companion line of wearable clothing, accessories, and footwear, MM6 draws its inspiration from the more colloquial, casual moments of everyday life. MM6 represents a more street-inspired, ready-to-wear take on Margiela's intellectual approach to luxury. Tongue-in-cheek prints, graphical witticisms, geometric forms and sneakers are showcased in Margiela's vision.
"Anybody who's aware of what life is in a contemporary world is influenced by Margiela," Marc Jacobs told Women's Wear Daily in 2008. To say it's difficult to sum up the accomplishment's of Martin Margiela in one article is beyond an understatement. Known as fashion's invisible man, Margiela is notorious for avoiding the spotlight, a reaction he has to what he feels to be an overly commercialized industry. Instead, he prefers his work to do the talking, the audience should focus on the design aesthetic as opposed to the celebrity of the designer.
During his tenure at Maison Martin Margiela, he did not grant interviews, was not photographed, and did not appear at the end of the Maison Martin Margiela runway show, as is customary in the fashion industry. Communication with the press was conducted via fax, and all correspondence was signed "we" instead of "I". Many in the fashion media contended that Margiela's illusiveness was a publicity stunt. For their part, Maison Martin Margiela asserted that Margiela's disappearance was a genuine attempt to return the focus of fashion to the clothing, and not the personas behind it.
Martin Margiela is considered the honorary seventh member of the esteemed group of designers known as The Antwerp Six, which includes Dries Van Noten and Ann Demeulemeester, at the time the work of these designers represented a radical breakthrough. Their vision was so distinct and different it put Antwerp on the map as a a reputed fashion destination.
Y-3 AW 2017_TECHNOLOGY AND NATURE
In the high-paced, perplexing world of fashion, longevity is rare and hard to come by. Yet Yohji Yamamoto has perpetuated his iconic partnership with Adidas for 13 years; showcasing his masterful tailoring, attention to detail, and his effortless blend of flowing sportswear & high couture technical garments. As the living legend pointed out his enduring partnership stood the test of time, often in his own perplexity and disbelief at his ongoing success, we rejoiced in the display of his work for generations to come.
The frostbitten Palais de Tokyo upon the northern bank of the River Seine amalgamated the setting for this year’s Adidas Y-3 show at Paris Fashion Week, with several goth-ninjaesque enthusiasts enduring the cold to bear witness to the 2017 Fall Winter launch. Juxtaposed together harmoniously: women's, men's and sportswear were united by Yohji's seamless synergy of flawless design and sportswear.
A smooth, yet distorted electric guitar played fluidly while the syncopation of constant jazz rock drums opened up the Fall Winter 2017 Y-3 show. In unison, the all black runway lit up in the middle to all white followed by a forest green camo background to showcase the theme of the collection. The somber elegance displayed was an homage to Yohji's technical yet, effortless style. Fall Winter's theme served to explore the relationship between technology and nature, presented through the looking glass of a "digital forrest", the contrast exhibited by dappled shadow and vivid uniform light brought the idea to life. This awe inspiring narrative challenged the utilitarian idea of living in a digital world where the role of technology has usurped our lives, the challenge of living in a modern world was reclaimed by innocence and nature.
Y-3 success is largely owed to its unapologetic, unwavering consistency and its brand identity in constantly exploring the intersection of fashion and technology, with mostly a monochromatic palette. The layered, thick dark slices of Yamamoto heaven showcased fascinating details: enveloping outerwear layers with fluid lines, the criss-crossing of heavy duty zip ups and straps, perforated knitwear to serve as a layering accent, the thin sliver of green served to high light the plethora of drop crotch infused silhouettes. Ultimately, Y-3's show was successful in utilizing space to created the effect of a forest floor blanketed by darkness but pierced by the effervescent rays of sunlight hitting its perforations. Elongated nylons, digital forest prints and gross grain weaved fabric further served to exemplify Yohji's balance of harmony within nature, design and technology.
Created in 1993, PLEATS PLEASE ISSEY MIYAKE is a ready-to-wear collection for the modern day woman to suit her every need. It combines elegance and functionality through the collection's designs and innovative pleating technique that is unique to this line.
Issey Miyake began experimenting with pleats in 1988 after his ISSEY MIYAKE A-ŪN exhibition. He was inspired by William Forsythe's production The Loss of Small Detail for the Fankfurt Ballet to create a new type of pleated clothing that emphasizes and enhances movement.
Clothing that uses the traditional pleating technique pleats the fabric first, then cuts and sews the garment together. For a more unique and dynamic effect, Miyake discovered a new pleating technology called "garment pleating" that uses a specific lightweight knitted material. Instead of pleating the fabric first, "garment pleating" cuts and sews an oversized piece of cloth into the desired silhouette and is then sandwiched between two layers of washi paper and put through a heat press which engrains the shape into the fabric's "memory".
Born and raised in Southern California, Eric Jess is a model, blogger, and photojournalist in the Los Angeles area. He enjoys documenting menswear, travel, and lifestyle. You can follow his journey on his blog: Who Is Eric Jess
"I like voids, beginnings, endings, and things in between."
Nancy Stella Soto is a Los Angeles based designer who creates handcrafted pieces that subvert traditional forms and merged dichotomous elements: excess and disappearance, resilience and disorder. In the accumulation and repurposing of found material, Soto incorporates temporality into her object-making by often utilizing the sun to affect textiles and metals through fading and aging, as well as considering the destructive roles of chaos and interference.
We were able to get an exclusive interview with the designer herself:
Where did you grow up?
I was born in East L.A. and grew up in Highland Park and the San Gabriel Valley.
What does a typical day look like for you?
I wake up, make coffee, do some stretches and go for a hike with my beloved dog Belvedere. I stroll into the studio at about 10:30am and aside from lunch and dinner and a snack break I'm in there until about 11:30pm. I am grateful to be able to sustain myself through my practice, but realistically most waking minutes are work related.
Did you always want to be a designer or is it something you discovered over time?
I always knew I wanted to cut shapes and place them in certain areas. Maybe the designer realization happened in high school.
How do you come up with your ideas for each collection?
Each collection is an evolution from the previous one. I suppose it all began with the grid cutout. In a way, I was trying to create an enlarged mesh of sorts and trying to create my own fabric. I like how this lead to a game of conceal and reveal within a garment, so I decided to play with that concept. I like voids, beginnings, endings, and things in between.
How was that influenced the way you work?
Well, because I know and understand most of the steps to producing a basic garment, it's hard for me not to do ALL of those steps. I make all of my patterns, sew all samples, I do all of the grading and marking and QC. Sometimes I think this is limiting since I can foresee difficulties in production and so I will avoid a detail, technique or fabric.
What are your plans for the future?
Well, to me the future is now and so I strive to be present and honest with my designs and to grow my company while supporting manufacturing businesses in Los Angeles. It's important for me to produce my clothing here. I will also be collecting more cacti, more Comme des Garçons, and more shoes.
With an atypical background starting in furniture design, Raf Simons was able to utilize his structural, minimalist experience to flourish into one of the most influential designers in menswear & couture present day. Starting his eponymous label in 1995, Simons had various stints at Jil Sander, Fred Perry, and most recently at Dior from 2012- 2015 where he replaced the controversial John Galliano.
Simons studied industrial and furniture design in Genk, Belgium taking his degree in 1991, then initially going on with his career in furniture design. Immersed in the counterculture of early 90s Antwerp counterculture, particularly Antwerp Six, Simons was able to capture the city's energy through his pioneering vision with the burgeoning underground youth cultures influenced by music, art and the stylings of the underground fashion culture. Minimalism, desconstructivist nature as well as athletic silhouettes join luxe materials, futuristic prints and color schemes in a hyper-modern blend of street wear and tailored menswear allowing for a refined, yet edgy take on normally-pigeonholed menswear. Black and white chic photo collage prints, pop- art inspired graphics, as well as futurist functional sneakers adorn a athleisure collaboration with Adidas, including sophisticated button ups with post apocalyptic- punk themes, parkas, bomber jackets, slim cut denim and classic tees where Simons effortlessly blends the worlds of refined modernism, streetwear with a nostalgic influence. Casual knits,slim trousers and the use of high tech materials in the Adidas collaboration showcase Raf's preeminent synthesis of a futuristic outlook that gives reverence to the past.
Unlike the majority of his contemporaries, Raf Simons has a love-hate relationship with the fashion world. He seeks to evoke emotion--that is authentic, not solely for the glamour and the superficial nature of it all. Raf's process involves a bit of introspection, constant questioning, as with the way many innovators think. How can I make this garment more fluid? How will the color contrast pop with this certain fit? Raf seeks to break out of the normality the majority of menswear world embraces, a constant niche market too focused on the standard sartorial strata of classical archetypes with a small twist.
Through this process, Simons has become the most important menswear designer in the world: dramatically altering the way men dress and want to dress. He is unafraid to explore what lies between the innovative, as well as the classic. He was the first to truly interject and juxtapose menswear with cultish youth affiliations before any other designer was doing it. Raf constantly challenges social norms, the status quo, the notion of self worth as well as value. The clothes evoke a design that express something about the world we live in whether it is economic turmoil, youth disenfranchisement, complex codes of masculinity.
Perhaps such a thoughtful designer such as Raf constantly questioning himself, the way things are and his own process might be too exhausting for some. But while exhausted, constantly pushing to innovate while others simply coast along and merely exist--he is able to create something purposeful. In a world filled with an excess of clutter, Simons creates something that truly matters. He is able to make one look at the universe, and perhaps more importantly oneself with a fresh set of eyes.