MoMu’s tribute to Margiela’s deconstructive luxury

MoMu's tribute to Margiela's deconstructive luxury

If it weren’t for Dries Van Noten or Martin Margiela, Belgium’s Antwerp would not be considered the avant-garde’s fashion capital.

This is a reason of the many why MoMu, the city’s fashion museum has chosen 2017 to highlight Martin Margiela’s Hermès heritage by showcasing “the life he injected into 12 collections produced during his slightly unusual (but wholly successful) appointment by Jean-Louis Dumas” reports Another.

When the Parisian house appointed Martin Margiela as its artistic director for the women’s ready-to-wear collections in October 1997, the founder of Maison Martin Margiela had already been known for almost a decade as one of the most influential avant-garde designers.

His predilection for the deconstruction, recycling and recovery of materials was unheard of in the fashion world of that era. His conceptual approach to the presentation, sales and communication of his collections has changed the way we think about fashion and its underlying mechanisms, as well as our opinions on craftsmanship, commerce, authorship and innovation.

MoMu's tribute to Margiela's deconstructive luxury

When Jean-Louis Dumas, then CEO of Hermès, approached Margiela for the label’s ready-to-wear for women at the end of the 1990s, it was a daring choice to say the least, and not in line with the prevailing developments on the fashion scene, which preferred celebrity designers to breathe new life into traditional French fashion houses. The fact that this house of Parisian luxury, chose Margiela – an iconoclast who longed to remain anonymous and up to then had never given a single interview – raised quite a few eyebrows. The fashion press greedily speculated whether Margiela would apply his deconstruction idiom to the iconic legacy of the house.

From 1997 to 2003, Margiela instilled his exhaustive and consistent vision of modern-day luxury into twelve consecutive collections. His sleek designs were all about comfort, timelessness and tactility in an unexpected direction. His sober and monochrome colour palette diverged from the typical brightly-coloured prints of Paris. Assisted by the outstanding craftsmanship of the house’s studios, Margiela was able to distil his design and tailoring into sheer perfection, supported by extensive material research that not only enhanced the comfort of the wearer, but also introduced numerous innovations.

Margiela’s work for the Parisian house continues to influence the work of many contemporary designers. During Paris Fashion Week for autumn-winter 2016-2017, the international press described Martin Margiela – who retreated from the fashion world more than eight years ago – as the “true protagonist” of fashion week. High time to showcase some of his masterpieces with “Margiela – The Hermès Years” at MoMu.

From 31 March 2017 to 27 August 2017, enter this exhibition for a slice of avant-garde’s master named Martin Margiela.