Warming Up

To tabi or not to tabi? The perverse charms of MM6 Martin Margiela

Life is not a rehearsal but in John Galliano’s eyes the warmup routine makes a great premise for a collection. While an orchestra played Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring, a co-ed cast sauntered around the auditorium in an array of lived in and loved in pieces that message the pared back, nonchalance of our time.

Cue layered up tanks and bodies in ice blue and nude, slinky satin bag pants, leather reefer coats, slinky sheath dresses (add one to the wish list now) and giant sweatshirts in cerise pink that looked as if they had been shredded on a cheese grater. What these pieces embraced was the liberation and supple ease of a dancer’s body, and a carefree glamour that is often glimpsed in watching ‘an artist at work.’

Tabi Leather Ballet Flats

@sophiess // Instagram

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Tabi White Paint Boots

@josefinehj // Instagram

"Fashion is driven by ideas and previously unexplored proposals."

John Galliano

The winning elements were also evening gloves, eyewear (a collaboration with Korean maker Gentle Monster), peep toe stocking boots and a whole new series of Tabi ballet shoes with a variety of heel heights in shades like baby blue and cream.  The cult shoe, (based on 15th century Japanese outdoors work socks), is meant to promote a sense of balance through the separation of the big toe. Martin Margiela made the tabi a signature in his collection way back in 1988 when the Belgian debuted his subversive vision of upcycled fabrics, outsize tailoring and trompe l’oeil effects on the style world.

The cleaved toe still has the power to disturb and like Gucci’s loafer or Chanel’s correspondent slingback, the tabi has subsequently entered the holy grail of shoe design. “Fashion is driven by ideas and previously unexplored proposals,” says the indefatigable Galliano. That Tabi in baby blue might be the start of something.

Tabi Ballerina Shoes

@haruka_nagakura // Instagram

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