Margiela the anonymous celebrated in two major Parisian fashion institutions: Galliera and the MAD
Behind the scenes, nudity as a colour in its own right, the art of diversion and historical quotation, the trompe l’oeil, the oversize, Meudon white as a signature, Martin Margiela (born in 1957 in Louvain) remains an enigma in more ways than one. The Palais Galliera offers a retrospective of his entire career (1989-2009), while the Museum of Decorative Arts presents the exhibition of the MoMu, Antwerp fashion museum, on his years of collaboration with Hermès (1997 to 2003). Two approaches served by different but complementary scenographies to try to break through the myth.
Graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp, he arrives in Paris and becomes Jean-Paul Gaultier’s assistant before quickly opening his own house. Underground and improbable places for fashion shows (Montmartre cemetery, subway station, squat, Salvation Army…), lunar boots,”tabis” inspired by Japan, discretion until the end of the labels, the refusal of the system, permanent recycling and a very conceptual approach of the silhouette.
As if the lesson of the academy of the Flemish masters met the scalpel of a plastic artist of the sketch and deconstruction of the XXIst century.
This is why the Galliera Palace adopts a staging in a state of construction with a tagged and transitional aesthetic. Around 10 manifest collections and some 130 silhouettes, the Stockman and other unmissable collections (the duvet coat, the body flesh, the white bolduc, the wig jacket, the trench-coat cone…),”fan rooms” mark out this chaotic course, designed from the series of”Happy Victims” by Japanese photographer Kyoishi Tsuzuki.F
rom destroy, punk, to minimalist, the creator goes so far as to use negative photographs of clothes that he then prints on fluid surfaces, practicing sampling, the fragment before the hour.
An aesthetics of the dissimilar, the unfinished, the imperfect that can shock at first sight and implies having a strong personality to dare such silhouettes at the time whereas now the young people swear only by the loose jeans or the oversize of the build.
The clothes found at the fleas, the rubbish of our consumer society, the vulgar, the dissonant, so many notions that it imposes on our gaze.
The Museum of Decorative Arts, now MAD succeeds the clever challenge to make dialogue the collections created at the request of Jean-Louis Dumas president and artistic director of the House Hermes from 1997, with the own creations of his brand. The scenography plays on the two emblematic colors orange for Hermes, white (and shades) for Margiela in an asymmetrical checkerboard from 12 consecutive collections and more than 100 silhouettes. The deliberately raw and naked aspect of the walls gives a cold sensation that works less well here, despite the videos of former models who paraded for him,”the gestures.
” What seems rather paradoxical is the involvement of the designer in this Parisian Hermès project, whereas he has already withdrawn from the world of fashion and appears almost never in the media, as the curator of the exhibition, Marie Sophie Carron de la Carrière, curator at the museum. If purity is a virtue that the Hermès House also shares, the choice for this iconoclastic creator creates a surprise, especially since he quickly imposes the monochrome far from the codes of the saddler’s emblematic prints.
But the sense of materials, the quest for perfection, the taste for detail operate around patterns that he duplicates from one house to another with singular stories.
Like a balancing act that only he has the secret to.
Two sides of the same demand, two worlds and always the same look, radical and subversive, resolutely timeless.
PRACTICAL INFO :
“Margiela Season 2018 in Paris”
– Martin Margiela
Until 15 July 2018
10 avenue Pierre Ier de Serbie
Catalogue Martin Margiela, Collections Femme 1989-2009, Paris Museums Editions, 160 pages, 35€
– Margiela, the Hermes years
until 2 September 2018
107 rue de Rivoli
Catalogue Margiela les années Hermès, Actes Sud editions, 280 pages, 52€
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