Maison Margiela (Instagram) has just announced the in-store launch of its 2023 Co-Ed Collection in collaboration with Pendleton (Instagram) in the perfect marriage of haute couture elegance and classic American styles. This enticing partnership showcases the remarkable creative dialogue between the two iconic brands. Under the guidance of Creative Director John Galliano, the collaboration seamlessly blends the timeless plaids of Pendleton, an American heritage weaver, with the high-fashion language of Maison Margiela.
The 2023 Co-Ed Collection is inspired by the enigmatic themes of Southern Gothic culture, the heartland of the American West, classic American cinema, and the contemporary spirit of socially conscious youth. This collection includes a wide array of outerwear, tailored pieces, dresses, rompers, denim items, and shirting that capture the essence of these influences.
Pendleton, founded in 1863 in Oregon, embodies a sense of authenticity and craftsmanship that, though their roots are far apart, finds a partner in Maison Margiela. The American brand’s commitment to old-world looms and traditional dyeing methods set the stage for this collaboration. Galliano handpicked three mid-century weaves from the Pendleton archives: a bold red buffalo pattern, a soft and mesmerizing sunset plaid in pink and blue pastels, and a sophisticated windowpane check in red, white, and black.
What makes this collaboration truly exceptional is the juxtaposition of the humble and the refined. Each piece is a testament to the technical and material meeting between these contrasting elements. The genderless wardrobe takes cues from the Co-Ed 2023 Collection’s techniques, including decortiqué, which cuts garments to their structural core.
One of the standout features of this collection is the Maison’s new Rorschach cutting technique. It ingeniously subverts one image into another, with cut-out motifs reminiscent of American Western yokes transformed into pareidolic illusions evoking familiar characters. This technique is showcased in blousons, chinos, prom trousers, and sweatshirts.
The artistry continues with the practice of “rompage,” where classic Pendleton shirts are hacked and spontaneously transformed into rompers. These rompers feature waist-nipping nonchalant tucks, creating a silhouette that’s both iconic and contemporary and that explores the beauty of hand-me-downs and the gestures that infuse garments with life.
You’ll also find carcoats lined with the sunset plaid, showcasing a magnified version of a 1930s Pendleton label across the shoulders. This playful nod to tailoring etiquette is mirrored in oversized, casually-fitted or hacked-off sleeveless Pendleton shirts featuring smaller Pendleton labels. For a touch of whimsy, don’t miss the Rorschach-cut caban crafted in the sunset plaid. It’s an oversized creation blown up eight times, padded with neoprene and foam to achieve a subconsciously childlike proportion.
Maison Margiela’s collaboration with Pendleton is a testament to the power of creative partnerships in the fashion world. The 2023 Co-Ed Collection beautifully marries haute couture and American heritage, offering a unique and captivating fashion experience.
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