The Coronation of Fashion’s Invisible Genius
Sometimes we wonder if Martin Margiela actually exists!
The mysterious Belgian designer whose face nobody knows has been fascinating us for over 30 years.
Toward the end of the eighties, while fashion favored glamour and curves, Margiela stunned us with his minimalist, androgynous silhouettes.
He dared to deconstruct his clothes, putting them back together with dazzling genius.
We know nothing about his physique or private life!
The few interviews of him were conducted remotely, often in writing.
The designer speaks in third person plural in any comments collected from him in interviews. A sincere “we” that includes the teams.
The teams are required to share only at the master’s discretion. Dressed in white coats, employees and members of the studio have acted as guardians and never revealed the anonymity of the most famous Belgian creators.
This pioneer of upcycling has long been turning recuperation into an art. From the beginning, this iconoclast shook up fashion codes by using flea-market finds which he transformed into avant-garde silhouettes. At a time, when fashion logos are proudly displayed, the creations of Maison Martin Margiela’s bear a blank white label stitched with four black dots.
Margiela – The Hermes Years
While the House of Hermès is renowned for its ultimate luxury, it reinvents itself regularly through creative collaborations with visionary designers. From 1997 to 2003, Hermès entrusted the artistic direction of its women’s ready-to-wear to Martin Margiela. The Museum of Decorative Arts in Paris devoted an exhibition to this surprising and fruitful collaboration, with the artistic direction of the exhibition by none other than the elusive designer himself!
In the twelve collections he developed for Hermès, Margiela created an identity that is distinctly different from the aesthetic of his own label. The visitor discovers the dialogue between these two worlds on entering the exhibition. We discover how Margiela expressed his creative genius in a House whose DNA is based on purity and luxury materials, whereas he favored the conceptual and subversive creations in his own. His designs for Hermès are sensual, comfortable and timeless, while structured-deconstructed cuts in recycled materials are the signature of Maison Martin Margiela. The visitor discovers a dialogue between the two universes at the entrance.
Throughout the course of history punctuated by a hundred silhouettes, photos and videos, one sails between the orange of Hermès and the white of the Maison Martin Margiela.
We discover how the French designer was able to express his genius in a house with DNA based on pure and noble materials, while in his own house he preferred conceptual and subversive creations.
Today John Galliano adopts the discretion of his predecessor at the helm of the Martin Margiela House, which he left ten years ago. This was a glorious start that Martin Margiela had the courage to take on simply because he thought he had expressed everything.
The exhibition at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris pays tribute to twenty years of creation by this genius of fashion.
From 22 March to 2 September, 2018