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Martin Margiela

Martin Margiela (b. 1957, Leuven) graduated from the Royal Academy of Fine Arts Antwerp in 1980. From 1984 to 1988 he worked for Jean-Paul Gaultier (b. 1952, Bagneux) before establishing Maison Martin Margiela in Paris. The fashion house was bought up in 2002, and Margiela left in 2009. In his work, Margiela questions traditional oppositions such as male and female, large and small, interior and exterior, ordinary and extraordinary, beautiful and ugly. He also explores the continuous deconstruction and reconstruction of clothing, as in his mauve half-coat (1997), which appears unfinished. In this series of garments, only one of which is on display here, he makes visible the preliminary work of assembling pieces of fabric, leaving in place technical elements – such as basting stitches – which normally are removed once the work is finished. In more general terms, it is the very idea of fashion that is being questioned, by a designer known for working with limited resources, for sidestepping the excessive media coverage given to designers and models, and for using recycled materials.

In Casque-sac (2006), for example, the label reads: ‘Clothing, fabric, accessories and new and old elements have been brought together and reworked by hand to create this piece. The greatest care has been taken in the selection and origin of these materials. This creative process makes this piece unique and intentionally emphasises signs of the passage of time and wear inherent in such materials.’ His work, with its somewhat surrealist edge, remains timeless and extremely influential.

Artworks

  1. Martin Margiela Collection Artisanale Automne/ Hiver, 2006–2007

    Sac à main réalisé dans un casque de scooter transformé, intérieur en cuir napa rose pâle
    Casque laqué, cuir
    Ed. /3
    Collection Mudam Luxembourg
    Donation 2007
    © Photo : Rémi Villaggi | Mudam Luxembourg

  1. Martin Margiela Collection Artisanale Printemps/Été, 2007

    Veste-voyage réalisée à partir d’une housse de voyage pour vêtements
    Nylon
    Ed. /5
    Collection Mudam Luxembourg
    Donation 2007
    © Photo : Rémi Villaggi | Mudam Luxembourg

  1. Martin Margiela Collection Prêt-à-Porter Automne/Hiver, 1997–1998

    Demi manteau asymétrique en lainage violet à fils de bâti apparents
    Coton, laine
    Collection Mudam Luxembourg
    Donation 2004
    © Photo : Rémi Villaggi | Mudam Luxembourg

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