Generally speaking, Maison Martin Margiela’s aesthetic is a bit too abstract for my tastes. I always found this house a bit odd even if I respect the marching-to-the-beat-of-their-own-drum bit. Even after the ousting of Martin Margiela in 2009, I never really got it. However, I was quite pleasantly surprised for Spring 2012; I really got drawn into the romanticism of this collection. Instead of coming off as too much, the loose draping and exaggerated proportions added a lovely sense of abandon to it, lending a rather bohemian spirit to this collection in general. I thought that the overly windswept hair with the occasional red lip was a fantastic touch as it immediately set the tone for me. Moreover, even with the loose draping and dramatic swathes of fabric, the tailoring is structured and unique to give the silhouette great shape. I especially love the haute couture element to it with the expressively billowing capes and slit long skirts of leather. The house does a fantastic job of presenting not-so-typical basics by distinctively splicing sharp shouldered jackets and artfully compiling scraps into very cool staples that I would totally want in my closet. And they certainly have a unique way of doing exposed zippers: they are liberally running along leather tops to give an intriguingly streamlined effect. Although some will miss the eccentricity of Margiela himself, I definitely appreciate this new realistic outlook at Maison Martin Margiela and hope it stays.