In the exercise of documenting a generation, the call and repeat of appropriation and innovation becomes tangible. At a certain point, even the most recognizable tropes are subject to such interpretations that meaning is altered and new creative expressions are born. The MM6 collection for Autumn Winter 2020 considers this conceit, employing controlled methods to approach the zeitgeist whilst avoiding nostalgia itself. To wit: a Parisian maison, showing in London, inspired by New York.
Whilst delving into disparate eras of underground club culture and its glamorous protagonists, the MM6 collection subverts the expectations of myriad garments by applying the house concept of ‘circularity’. Draping exercises in the atelier have led to sculpted circle skirts and sweaters, whilst tailoring constructions see jacket sleeves displaced for a new posture.
A landmark collaboration with The North Face sees their iconic Expedition System outerwear transformed as padded circle coats, jackets, a top and dress. The urban connotation of colour-blocked all-weather gear permeates the collection, clashing with hound’s tooth, ribbed lurex, and Fair Isle knitting.
Offsetting the cape effect of curved tops, a series of detachable tailored sleeves tie behind the shoulders – furthering the effect of contrast layering through bright turtlenecks, lariat bodysuits and tabi gloves. MM6 reviews are shredded from fashion magazines and collaged into a custom ‘zebra’ motif applied on jacquard and satins pieces for a subversive take on this classic animalia print.
Across the MM6 accessories collection, the ‘circle’ concept is applied to conventionally geometric objects to create new forms such as the signature Japanese origami bag in stamped croc, circular bandanas, leather cardholders, and a round knitted hat. Musicality informs a percussive jewellery collection, from a tambourine choker to cymbal earrings and rings.
For a 1960 ́s East Village spirit revisited, a heavy chain-link bracelet is slung across biker boots with the cylinder ‘6’ stamp heel, finished in rough suede, mirrored silver, and thigh-high stretch leather. In collaboration with Mykita, textured Mylon bar frames eyewear styles merge high performance with an MM6 attitude.
Recorded by the MM6 studio, a custom vinyl recording played on the occasion of the AW20 presentation in London, England, consists of a six-channel track featuring isolated sonic expressions of the collection.
The possibility that multiple identities can exist within a single garment is a concept inherent to the world of MM6. Duality, in particular, provokes us to question origin versus evolution – the idea that our collective consciousness ascribes certain meanings (and even rules) to materials, shapes, and the way we wear them – all of which can be twisted in an instant.
To that effect, the polemic characters of John Lennon and Yoko Ono are the starting point for the MM6 collection for Spring Summer 2020, their 1969 wedding and subsequent ‘bed-in’ for peace a source of global attention – for better or for worse.
Parading in an infinite looping action, a cast of MM6 models populate the Fabbrica Orobia – a former railway station in the south of Milan, stripped to a concrete shell. Marching to the beat of their own drum, they carry individual speakers playing a soundscape of church bells, chirping birds, honking cars, spoken word recitals, rock, and folk music engineered to provoke harmony and dissonance as they pass each other by.
Questioning what is casual and what is ‘dressed-up’, the MM6 wardrobe revels in the in-between space of our expectations, appropriating both British and Japanese traditions (care of the season’s source material). Everything from the tuxedo jacket to the tracksuit pant is re-imagined, removed from its original context to become something else. T-shirts and tutus collide in broken white shades of tulle and jersey, becoming draped and tiered separates, veiled blouses, and cleft-open dresses (worn undone or back-to-front).
Cut in black leather, white satin and tattered blue denim, shawl collar blazers are split up the sides to fall straight or tie across the body, and the ‘blouse blanche’ work coat returns bearing a shadowy bouquet of tulips. Adorning pieces from a circle-cut doily dress to the iconic nude bodysuit, the MM6 logo and numbers device join slogans ‘They Are Two Of A Kind’ and ‘BETTERHALFISM’, evoking the collection’s performative spirit of commitment, celebration, and amical togetherness.
Notions of the ready-made continue to inform the MM6 accessories collection, exemplified by the introduction of the tin can cylinder-heeled boot and sandal, offering a satirical wink to the ‘chivaree’ traditions of a couple’s wedding night.
They join new moulded sneaker shapes and square toe boots that bear MM6’s signature cylinder ‘6’ stamp heel, whilst alice bands, nano-sized origami bags and ruffled pool slides play on pearl and corsage details seen elsewhere. ‘Found object’ jewellery includes engraved ID tags, safety pin charms and house key pendants – transforming clichéd symbols of domestic life.