This is a series post that will publish weekly starting from today, so mark your Wednesdays for the following weeks. In the series I’ll talk about my obsession (that will soon be yours if it hasn’t already) and some unanswered question regarding Mr Mystery man. This tribute goes to the wild man behind the Maison, which is Martin Margiela himself. This is the first part that talks about the man himself, the second part will talk about his works and concepts, the third is about the evolution of his work (and the Maison’s), and the fourth will talk about his mystery departure from his own fashion house.
Obviously, I love the guy enough to write a tribute (and to make it a series too! wow) for him. I love his work, his unwavering loyalty to anonymity, his mad ideas of deconstructing design and beauty, the boundaries he broke, and so on. I would rather NOT provide you with his biography or coarse background, you can find it in his Wikipedia if you want to. BUT FIRST, I’d like you to read this reference that provides near complete info about him and the Maison here.
By the way, I’ll summarize that info for you. He’s born in Belgium in 1957, graduated from Antwerp’s Royal Academy of Fine Arts and shortly working with Jean Paul Gaultier before inventing his own clothing line in 1988, which eventually leads to the founding of Maison Martin Margiela. Apart from the tantrum about how Martin Margiela became regarded as one of the Antwerp Six, the group of avant garde fashion designers who rented a truck as their headquarters to eventually present their collections at London Fashion Week (and becoming one of the most valued avant garde designers in the world), this is actually wrong, since Margiela didn’t take part in the group’s journey. He just happened to graduate around the same time as the group’s members, but he chose to go to Paris and worked with JPG for a while before establishing his own fashion house there.
What I want to exaggerate in the series is his philosophy. His devotion to anonymity. His belief that the clothes, the product, the designs are beyond the designers, beyond the creators. He remains completely off the radar, never appears in fashion shows (even his own), avoids contact with all sort of press and media, and he leaves all of his designs open for interpretation. A very mysterious guy indeed. Whether this is a brilliant marketing strategy or an undying philosophy, nobody really knows or care anyway. And there’s only one photograph of him taken in 1997 (WHICH is also probably a snapshot anyway).
What is so amazing about this guy is his devotion to his concept, to his work, rather than to himself. He revolutionized haute couture, bringing in deconstructed designs, eccentric shoulder pads, odd accentuation of body lines, and so on. And YET, all the credit goes to his work, his house, and his design teams, rather than to himself. Now how does that not make you obsessed about him?
Posts in the series:
Tribute to Martin Margiela 2 – His Early Works, Concepts, Stores, and Team
-The Dilly Chic-