The Last Waltz? Looking at the Runway for Change at Maison Martin Margiela

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News rippled across the internet yesterday as what was only a quiet speculation in recent months became a very loud rumor: Martin Margiela may be leaving Maison Martin Margiela, escaping the fashion world, and selecting a successor—perhaps Raf Simmons. There is something odd about this news, which should be shocking, given Margelia's recent glowing coverage, citing his talent as much as his personal modesty in an industry dominated by immodest characters. Whatever we learn in the next few weeks, there may be signs about the future of the brand apparent it's latest collection. Let's browse the tealeaves, shall we?
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Recently Margiela has enjoyed little games like dramatic makeup and little masks to obscure his model's faces. This time, there were no faces…at all. Bagged up in material, the covered heads of the models were perhaps a reference to his prized anonymity. Same goes for the faces covered in hair and the look that was almost completely covered in a red shawl. On top of clear references to AIDS and one of its victims, Leigh Bowery, ghosts—harbingers of death or change?—also made appearances, one of them popping out of a box, as if a final gift. Perhaps the most interesting clue was a concentration on bondage—straps that seemed to be on the verge of falling apart. It all adds up to a show about the preservation of identity, death, change, and imprisonment from a designer who's known to load his collections with intellectual baggage. Of course, we haven't studied psychology since Freshman year, so what the hell do we know?
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Photos via NYTimes.com.

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