Martin Margiela, l'uomo senza volto



“An experience that changes nothing is hardly worth having”

Martin Margiela

A phantom stylist, one of a kind, a lover of anonymity and sense slippages' author.
If we were to describe Martin Margiela in a few words, these could be the ones that fit him best.
After graduating from the prestigious Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp, and after a stay at the Jean Paul Gaultier's atelier (1984-1987), where he was able to refine technique and ideas, he made his debut with his first collection in 1989.

That catwalk was the first step in a constant work thanks to which, becoming an authoritative voice within in the industry panorama, Martin Margiela made an essential contribution to changing the essence of fashion itself and its enjoyment by the public.

Against the prevailing prima donna behaviour of those years, Margiela decided to place his work in that vein created by Japanese designers (Kawakubo, Yamamoto and Miyake) and renamed by the press as anti-fashion.
Never an interview, never a photographic portrait, on the label the logo disappears to make room for the absolute white. The designer's intention is immediately clear and obvious: in line with contemporary avant-garde artists like Bansky, his presence will be in absenthia, surrounded by a silence so deep as to be deafening.

Jenny Meirens, Martin's recently vanished right-hand and co-founder of the brand declared: “When you want to please others and everyone, you will get nowhere. I think you have to diversify yourself from others. In the long run, it will give you the freedom not to answer to the system.”

Between 1997 and 2003, while MMM established itself and became one of the favorite brands of gate keepers, Martin assumed the creative direction of Hermes, consolidating its name within the industry world.

The success of the Maison, however, is not long in coming, the unconventional look and the artisan attention to the making of the garments immediately convinced. Journalists talk about his style coining the term Decontraction: with a grunge attitude Margiela decomposed, recomposed, recycled and distorted, catching the attention of the whole fashion-system.

Not only clothes, that of Margiela is a very precise idea that marry the locations chosen for the fashion shows, the stores that are born around the world, and even La Maison Champs Elysées (Parisian hotel owned by the brand.
A concept that therefore becomes experiential.


This at least until 2014, the year of an epochal change for the historic Brand.
After fifteen long years of anonymity, the face of Maison Margiela takes on a physiognomy, and not just any ...
For the spring / summer 2015 John Galliano signs the collection on stage in Paris, amazing everyone.

At first glance, the combination of these two names of fashion sounds like an oxymoron, the strenuous desire for anonymity persevered up to that moment, not only by Martin, but by anyone who took turns inside the Maison, and the gargantuan personality of Galliano, true protagonist of his fashion shows, seems to be grating without the break in continuity.

But, once dissipate the mists of easy clamor, you can really see a logic underlying to the choice of the Fashion House placed under the aegis of the Diesel group.

Galliano is perhaps one of the few couturier poets left in circulation within a cosmos dominated by the logic of the market and, probably by virtue of this sensitivity, he manages to remain faithful to the dictates and canons of Margiela even if reinterpreting its codes.
About this new adventure the designer made in Gibraltar said: "“I was trying to bring a new genetic into the existing DNA of Maison Margiela," before "I was obsessed with perfection and polish  and at Maison Margiela I've discovered the joy in the unfinished..."

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