Wrenchingly, “M to M of M/M (Paris)” won’t come out in the US until March—or, if you’re lucky enough to be French, now. But we can assure you the 500-something-page monograph from Rizzoli, presenting the complete A-to-Z work (laid out M-to-M, cheekily) of the graphic-design duo, is a stunner. For the first time, the twenty-year illustrative oeuvre of Michaël Amzalag and Mathias Augustyniak is showcased in its entirety: the campaigns for Balenciaga, Givenchy, and Yohji Yamamoto, the Pradalphabet for Prada, the spreads for Vogue Paris and Arena Homme+, the collaborations with Inez & Vinoodh. And those are just the fashion clients, to speak nothing of art and music.
And, yes, those looking for clues to the shake-up at Balenciaga can find them. Here’s one, nestled in a Q&A between Emily King, the book’s author, and Nicolas Ghesquière…
“Can we talk about the collage, which was the last in the first series of advertisements that you did together? How did that idea develop?
It was the point when the Gucci Group approached me asking if I wanted to create a collection under my own name, but I said, ‘No, I prefer to keep going with Balenciaga.’ Then the Gucci Group bought Balenciaga, and this was the collection that came out at that moment. I was sharing all the politics with Mathias and Michaël. From being a designer within a house, suddenly the interest was on me rather than the house. I had to ask myself what to do, whether to stay with Balenciaga or leave and do something under my own name. I talked about this a lot with Mathias and Michaël, and the collection reflected those conversations. Suddenly the one woman had become thousands of women. It was about getting bigger, and attracting more attention, being exposed to more things. It was as if my woman had become multiple characters.”