Behind the brand: Maison Martin Margiela
Maison Martin Margiela Couture Fall 2012. Images: Elle.com
The Belgian designer is known for his stunning avant-garde creations and has long been a favourite of mine. During the 1980s, Margiela continued the new tradition of anti-establishment brands such as Comme des Garçons, known for their oversized clothes and unusual motifs such as outside seams and hems. He championed a style in direct opposition to that of the prolific designers of the time, known as deconstruction.
After working for Jean Paul Gaultier, he established his own label in 1989 but has always chosen to remain an elusive figure. He’s typically shunned recognition, remaining backstage after shows and never appearing in photos.
So much so that his brand was acquired by the Diesel group in 2002, possibly because Margiela wished ’to enjoy his life outside the insistent glare of the fashion world.’
I adore his clothes not for their wearability, but for their design savvy. Recently, I had the chance to admire his creations in person at an independent boutique in Brick Lane, London, and was blown away by the headpieces, bags and heavy-duty fabric of each garment. While often made a mockery of, Margiela’s designs are works of art in themselves- and you’ve got to admire a designer who sticks to his own reactionary style yet manages to be successful in such a mainstream industry.