7 Martin Margiela Fans and Collaborators Remember His Most Radical Show

March 8, 2018 - fall Denim


Supported by

Left: A demeanour from Maison Martin Margiela’s landmark fall/winter 2000 show, staged in a outworn burden sight in Paris. Right: A hairpiece ragged by one of a show’s models.CreditRonald Stoops


March 8, 2018

Though he left his eponymous tag scarcely a decade ago, there are few designers as successful currently as Martin Margiela. While he aspired to be invisible — to a indicate of refusing to be photographed and conducting all interviews by fax or email — Margiela’s impact is command vast on a contemporary fashion landscape. So many of his innovations — once radical — have turn supposed norms in a courtesy (his deconstructed tailoring, his championing of recycling and his pioneering of a see-now buy-now model, to name though a few). Brands as opposite as Vetements, Marques’Almeida and The Row ceaselessly cave his repository for inspiration. The unpractical Belgian engineer is being distinguished in dual apart exhibitions in Paris this month: a retrospective during a Palais Galliera, that examines his career until he late in 2009, and another during a Musée des Arts Décoratifs, that premiered in Antwerp final year and catalogs his six-year reign conceptualizing for Hermès.

After starting his possess tag in 1988 with his business partner Jenny Meirens, Margiela spent a subsequent dual decades substantiating an wholly new wording for wardrobe — a “cigarette” shoulder, a iconic cloven-footed Tabi boot, a unprepared edges and paint-splattered surfaces, a repurposing of selected panoply into new clothes. He constantly questioned a perceived norms of oppulance — utterly during his radical shows, that upended a normal catwalk format, holding over deserted Metro stations and, once, a Salvation Army store.

But a designer’s fall/winter 2000 collection was maybe a excellent countenance of many of his career-long preoccupations. The uncover was staged inside a outworn burden sight docked in a loading brook in Paris’s 19th Arrondissement, and models walked to a inharmonious instrumental lane from David Lynch’s “Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me” film soundtrack. The uncover saw Margiela rise a oversize judgment he’d introduced a prior deteriorate — panoply came in an Italian distance 78 — but he also experimented with new techniques, such as baking knitwear over an XXXL manikin to keep a saturated form. While some critics found a show’s environment “disturbing,” a clothes, with their blown-out proportions, achieved a new sculptural elegance. On a arise of a Galliera exhibition, some of Margiela’s longtime collaborators and fans share their memories of a engineer and that radical show.

Two looks from Maison Martin Margiela’s fall/winter 2000 show.CreditMarina Faust

Marina Faust, artist and photographer who collaborated with Margiela for scarcely 20 years

I had listened about a conform designer’s uncover that sounded like an subterraneous performance, a confidant and rebellious act in a conform universe during a finish of a 1980s. Intrigued, we went to a salon and detected a collection of panoply that blew my mind. As an artist, we am captivated to the uncompromising; there is no expansion though that. What spoke to me during initial reliable itself when we met Margiela to uncover him my array of photographs taken during a display in his showroom. It is not a indicate of perspective we shared; it is some-more that we determine on ambience and a attraction we have in common. we consider he favourite my reportage, non-fashion proceed to his work. The oversize collection is one of my favorites. It goes opposite any code. It seems unfit to wear but, on a contrary, looks smashing on a body. And it changes a duty depending on who wears it. Margiela was a risk taker. It is such a inexhaustible oeuvre he left behind. He finished a unfit probable for everyone.

Harriet Quick, contributing editor during British Vogue who attended a show

I remember a [fall/winter 2000] show feeling ominous, humorous, surreal and cordial in one go. The panoply were enormous and engulfed a models. Disturbing those neat exquisite proportions, covering a models’ faces with hulk crimped hair was a punkish act in itself — a required suspicion of beauty was disrupted and a panoply disembodied. The uncover was substantially late during night, when they customarily staged shows, and distant out of a core of city — removing there was a goal in itself — and afterwards to enter a gloomily illuminated burden sight was deeply unfortunate and cold too. The soundtrack and a disco balls combined a cut of bathos. It was as if a misconceptions and anticipation of pleasing Paris had evaporated.

Left: Oversize denim pants from Maison Martin Margiela’s fall/winter 2000 collection. Right: A sweater from a same collection, propitious to an XXXL dummy.CreditMarina Faust

Patrick Scallon, artistic and communications executive for Maison Martin Margiela, 1993-2008

I’d never selected to work in fashion. we was vital in Brussels doing debate essay when we was introduced to Jenny. What was meant to be a three-week chain incited into 17 years! Margiela is intensely puzzling and utterly reserved. I favourite a fact that he showed there was a approach of removing by a normal gatekeepers if we had a right conviction.

What was considerable about a fall/winter 2000 uncover was what he did with a knitwear, with a women walking around wearing another, many bigger, woman’s form. It was his approach of exploring oversize — it was about holding something that had existed before and bringing it onward into a new context and giving it a new power. Both Jenny and Martin would plea any other all a time, and this collection was a ideal brew of both of them — a alchemy of their talent combined something that brought an suspicion to a corner of expression, though a panoply could still duty as garments. Before that, it had been about ideas.

After a show, we got behind to bureau and a call came by from Women’s Wear Daily seeking for comment. We started conference rumors that we had evoked a travel of Jews from Paris. That’s not since we did it in any figure or form. People took a lot of superb license. We had threats to a office, faxes that were intensely abusive. We weren’t used to saying what we were doing spilling over into a public. It was unequivocally unpleasant and went on for utterly some time. The engaging thing about a uncover was when we put separate elements together, we emanate a space that can be filled in intellectually by other people.

Inge Grognard, makeup artist for Maison Martin Margiela, 1988-2010, who did a makeup for a show

I’d famous Martin given we was 14. We were all meddlesome in conform and panoply and that brought us together. The impulse he started his possess brand, it was accepted between us that we would work together. We had a lot of a same references in books, cinema — he was unequivocally shabby by punk and what a Japanese designers were doing. He always gave me a lot of leisure to govern a makeup.

For a fall/winter 2000 show, a makeup was flattering raw; we wanted to see skin, not like a doll. But what we unequivocally remember was that a models had these unequivocally large fringes that lonesome a eyes. That was something he did via his career — covering a eyes with masks, veils or sunglasses. A lot of time it was a panoply that were many important. But he was also meddlesome in a opinion of a models — a approach they moved, what they thought. With Martin, there was always evolution. He was always personification with proportions and deconstructing and reconstructing again.

Two looks from Maison Martin Margiela’s fall/winter 2000 collection.CreditRonald Stoops

Ronald Stoops, photographer who documented a show

I initial met him by [the Antwerp Six designer] Marina Yee and afterwards after by Inge. From a beginning, we had sum leisure sharpened as there weren’t a lot of backstage photographers then, and we was always intrigued by his collections and castings. He was a idealist who was shining during holding from a past, blending it with this turn of craftsmanship that finished his collections into something of a now. With a fall/winter 2000 show, we were not meditative about radical concepts; it was a healthy course for him. It’s story that has finished it radical.

Kristina de Coninck, indication for Maison Martin Margiela, 1989-2005, who walked in a show

I initial met Martin after he saw a design of me from a print fire we did with Ronald Stoops and Inge Grognard. we was tender by his openheartedness and charisma. Then we met him again when we changed to Paris, and we became best friends. My initial time displaying for him was really a heart-beating experience. Everything about it was sparkling and there was a feeling that something good was going to happen. When Martin was casting models, he was always looking for a certain attitude, to let a celebrity uncover through. The fall/winter 2000 uncover was such talent — superb though finished with a clarity of amusement and courtesy to a excellent detail. What we desired about his work was how unexpected he could collect adult an suspicion and give it a new celebrity with tenderness, amusement and love. All my memories associated to his work are easy to demonstrate in one word: emotion. He astounded me from a unequivocally beginning, and he still surprises me today!

Three runway looks from Maison Martin Margiela’s fall/winter 2000 show.CreditFirstview

Vicky Roditis, Sales Manager and “Ambassadrice” to Martin Margiela, whose personal repository is heavily featured in a Palais Galliera exhibition

The uncover felt new since of a insubordinate techniques Martin used and a fact that we were display XXXL sizes during a time when a trend was about a slim conformation and low-waisted spare pants. What was so special about a oversize panoply was a fact that we could dress lots of opposite sizes of people in a same clothes, that we found unequivocally democratic.

I found that each time Martin came out with a clever collection, we always got a misfortune critics. we could discuss other shows like “Terrain Vague” in 1989 or a spring/summer 1991 uncover in a garage — people always misinterpreted. we consider this is a effect when we select to work with finish artistic freedom. When we mount distant forward of any trend, we can simply be mistaken.

For me, operative for Margiela was especially about freedom. With Martin, all was probable — even what is routinely deliberate nauseous could turn engaging and beautiful. There was frolic and a clarity of surprise.


More denim ...

› tags: fall Denim /