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The Artist is Absent: The Official Maison Martin Margiela Thread

Discussion in 'Streetwear and Denim' started by RegisDB9, Nov 16, 2017.

  1. RegisDB9

    RegisDB9 Rico Suave

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    “White is the Maisons Color”

    White is anonymous for MMM because conceptually, it can be seen as undefined. The Maison says white is “[n]eutral, the binary opposite of black, or a blank canvas.” White is “evidence of option, an option of expression, be that ours or that of those who choose to wear the clothes we propose.” The Maison also uses white to connect back to the concept of democratic design. As noted above, all MMM design team and sales assistants wear white coats, thus white serves as “[a] symbol of belonging to the house of Margiela, a rejection of hierarchy, a nod to the haute couture ateliers of yesteryear.” White also connects the consumer to the brand through (yet another) contradiction. White is never really a blank canvas. When worn normally in public, white clothing’s bright, loud neutrality can be just as declarative as The Maison’s choice to remain anonymous to the press. And, as the the Maison itself notes, it serves as a way to connect people to the brand.
    Maison Martin Margiela (MMM) was established in 1988 by Martin Margiela and Belgian retailer Jenny Meirens (it appears that she was also a designer). Meirens had long supported the Belgian fashion establishment. In 1982, she organized a press conference for young designers in her store in Brussels, and Margiela met Meirens “when she was organizing shows for Yohji Yamamoto and Comme des Garcons in Brussels.”

    Initially, MMM presented only women’s ready to wear collections, with its first show occurring during Paris Fashion Week SS 1989. Margiela was quickly given recognition. In 1989, he was the first recipient of the ANDAM Award. The acronym translates to the National Association for the Development of the Fashion Arts and it is “the French equivalent of the Council of Fashion Designers of America prize.”

    From 1997-2003, Margiela was artistic director at Hermes while continuing to design for MMM7 (coincidentally, Gaultier would take over the Hermes position in 2003). MMM men’s runway presentations were introduced in October 1998 for S/S 1999.

    In 2002, a majority stake of Maison Martin Margiela was acquired by Diesel founder/President Renzo Rosso (MMM was held as Neuf SAS and acquired through Rosso’s Italian holding group Only the Brave. OTB owns the brands like Diesel, 55DSL, Maison Martin Margiela and Viktor & Rolf. OTB also owns Staff International S.p.A., a manufacturing and distribution arm with licensing agreements to produce Maison Martin Margiela, Viktor & Rolf, Dsquared2, Vivienne Westwood, Marc Jacobs Men and Just Cavalli.

    In January 2006, MMM became a Correspondent Member of the Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture. In May 2006, MMM showed its first haute couture collection using the “Artisanal” Line, a practice that continues to this day.

    In early 2009, rumors began to spread that Martin Margiela was no longer involved in the design process and was unhappy with the increasingly commercial direction Renzo Rosso was taking MMM. On December 9, 2009, MMM CEO Giovanni Pungetti officially confirmed that Martin Margiela was no longer at MMM and that no designer would be appointed to replace him. Rather, the existing design team would take the reins. Eventually, Matthieu Blazy was appointed designer of couture and “Artisanal” but it is unclear exactly when, with rumors beginning in 2011. Since leaving the Maison, Martin Margiela has maintained press silence and has shown no interest in returning to the fashion world.

    1977-1979/80: Attends and graduates from Royal Academy of Fine Arts Antwerp. Graduation date disputed.
    1984-1987: Serves as Design Assistant for Jean Paul Gaultier (Book)
    1988: Establishes Maison Martin Margiela with Belgian retailer Jenny Meirens under Neuf SAS (similar to an American LLC) and shows SS 1989 in Paris. At this time it is only womenswear. Line 1 established.
    1989: Martin Margiela awarded the first ever ANDAM Award.
    1994: Replica line officially made a part of Line 1; is included in Line 10 when it is established. Eventually becomes a part of Lines 4 and 14 (date unknown).
    1994: Charity AIDS t-shirt introduced for FW 1994. Still in production.
    1997, May: The current label, with numbers 0-23 on white cloth, is introduced. Previously, only a plain white, unmarked label was used.
    1997, Oct: Line 6 – women’s diffusion line.
    1997-2003: Martin Margiela serves as Artistic Director of Hermes women’s collections. Appointed in Apr. 1997 with his first show in FW 1998.
    1998, Mar: Line 22 – a collection of shoes for women
    1998, Oct: Line 10 – the men’s equivalent of Line 1, introduced for SS 1999
    1998, Oct: Line 13 – objects and publications.
    1999, Apr: Line 15 – collaboration line with mail order company 3 Suisses, short lived.
    2002, Jul: MMM/Neuf SAS sells its majority stake to Only the Brave, an Italian holding company owned by Diesel founder/President Renzo Rosso.
    2003, Oct: Line 4 – a wardrobe for women, introduced for SS 2004
    2004, Jun: Line 6, women’s diffusion, rebranded to mm6.
    2004, Jul: Line 14 – a wardrobe for men, introduced for SS 2005
    2005, Jan: Line 11 – a collection of accessories for women and men.
    2005, Jan: Line 22 – a collection of shoes for women and men officially introduced for FW 2005/6. Previously, small selections of footwear were released with Lines 1 and 10.
    2006, Jan: MMM becomes a Correspondent Member of the Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture.
    2006, May: MMM presents its Haute Couture show during SS 2006, using “Artisanal” Line 0 pieces.
    2007, Oct: Line 8 – eyewear collection.
    2008: 20th Anniversary celebrations for MMM take place.
    2008: Sartorial Collection, a capsule collection in Line 14, introduced for FW 2008/9.
    2008, Mar: Line 1 separated from “Défilé (runway)” and given separate tags.
    2008, Jul: Line 12 – a collection of fine jewelry.
    2009, Oct 3: Renzo Rosso states that Martin Margiela “has not been there for a long time.”
    2009, Dec 9: MMM officially confirms that Martin Margiela left MMM and the current design team would take over artistic direction rather than hiring a new head designer.
    2010, Jan: Line 3 – fragrances, with unisex Fragrance “Untitled”.
    2010, Oct: E-Boutique Launches3
    2012, Jun 12: H&M x MMM confirmed
    2014, Oct: Galliano named head designer

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    Last edited: Nov 16, 2017

  2. RegisDB9

    RegisDB9 Rico Suave

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    0: “Artisanal” collection for women & men [Est 1988]. “Its concept was-and still is-to reconstruct new garments by using other garments or accessories, used or new… It [is] all about giving a new life to old and abandoned pieces, so they could be worn again in a different way.”1 “Artisanal” pieces exemplify the MMM legacy of deconstruction, referencing fashion history, and the documenting the passage of time. Garments are given an “explanation card” which lists Collection, Reference (with ref. number and brief title), Description, Colours, Number Created (amount), Sizes, and Hours Spent Over Its Realisation. Men’s “Artisanal” items are marked with the 0 and 10 lines circled3, and written as “0 10”, “0-10”, “0/10”, etc. After MMM became a Correspondent Member of the Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture in Jan 2006, MMM showed its first haute couture collection in May 2006 using the “Artisanal” Line, which it continues to do. See also, Replica Line. [For more information on the “Artisanal” Line and the themes it touches upon, see the section “Conceptual Hallmarks and Themes” below.]

    Défilé (Runway, or, literally “show”) collection for women [Est. 2008, March]. “The original and primary collection of women’s ready-to-wear by Maison Martin Margiela debuted for SS 1989. This collection has traditionally been the subject of the Maison’s fashion shows and exhibitions.” Given a plain white label free of any markings, the line was “created” by being separated from Line 1 when they had originally been two concepts under one Line. Essentially, Défilé was created to sell only runway, and Line 1 to sell more unusual or avant ready to wear retail pieces.

    1: The collection for women [Est. 1988]. “ ‘1’ is the collection in which Maison Martin Margiela expresses its love for concept, design and process, for creativity and the avant-garde.” The first commercially released as Line 1 and the collection was tagged with a plain white label free of any markings, which continued until 2008. It was announced in March 2008 that commercial ready to wear items would be marked with the normal label featuring numbers 0-23 and the “1” circled. Défilé (show) pieces took the plain white label.

    3: Fragrance, in association with L’Oreal’s Luxury Products Division [Mar 2008 announced / Jan 2010 released].

    4: A wardrobe for women. Essentially women’s wardrobe basics, though explained as “a personal approach to dress, fixed on taste rather than on a seasonal approach to design, or a particular age group.” [Oct. 2003 for SS 2004].

    6 / mm6: Women’s diffusion line including clothes, shoes, and accessories. [Est. Oct 1997], [Rebranded mm6 in Jun 2004].

    8: Eyewear collection [Est. Oct 2007 for SS 2008].

    10: The collection for men, equivalent of women’s Line 1 [Est. Oct 1998 for SS 1999].

    11: A collection of accessories for women & men; “bags, belts, small leather goods and a few items of jewelry.” [Jan 2005].

    12: Fine jewelry collection made in collaboration with the Damiani group [Jul 2008].

    13: Objects & publications [Oct 1998].

    14: A wardrobe for men, essentially men’s yearly basics, equivalent of Line 4 [Est. Jul 2004 for SS 2005].

    15: Mail order [Est. April 1999]. A partnership with mail order company 3 Suisses in which garments were sold through their catalogue in France and Benelux.

    22: A collection of shoes for women and men [FW 2005/6]. “[T]he Maison has had a small seasonal selection of women’s and men’s shoes as part of Line 1 and Line 10. AW 2005-06 was the first time the shoes, for men and women, were all grouped within one collection, with its own structure and development plan.” [Women’s – Mar. 1998], [Men’s – Jan. 2005].

    Sartorial: a capsule collection part of Line 14, identifiable with gold embroidered cursive “Maison Martin Margiela” in the lining by the jacket pocket [FW 2008/9].

    Replica: “Every season since 1994, Maison Martin Margiela has introduced a capsule collection within its men’s and women’s lines,^ including around thirty pieces of garments and accessories, called ‘Replica’.” “These are existing garments, accessories and other articles that Maison Martin Margiela… prefers that they remain exactly as they were found. They are lavishly reproduced and carry a second label explaining their origin, function and period. The role of Maison Martin Margiela as designers is to ensure that the choice of fabric and the construction of these articles resemble the original as closely as possible.” “The ‘Replica’ concept derives from the notion of timelessness, and relies on the principle that these pieces have already proven the test of time. The idea was to design each garment so that they are as relevant for today as they will be tomorrow.”
    [Ed. The Monograph specifies that “each season” since 1994, Lines 4 and 14 have contained Replica pieces. The editor assumes that Replica pieces were first included in Lines 1 and 10 prior to the creation of Lines 4 and 14, which came four and six years, respectively, after Lines 4 and 14]
     
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2017

  3. RegisDB9

    RegisDB9 Rico Suave

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    AIDS T-Shirt: “Created to generate funds for the French charity AIDES… changes in the color of fabric and typeface occur every season.” The text of each shirt reads, “There is more action to be done to fight AIDS than to wear this T-shirt but it’s a good start.” [Est. FW 1994].

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    The four white stitches only appear on unlined garments. They were devised so as to, realistically and ideally, offer the option to those confronting the garments for the first time to react to their form and energy, and not just the idea of “brand” as expressed via a label.”The tag was originally only a plain white, unmarked cloth rectangle held at the nape of the neck by a single white basting stitch in each corner that were visible from the outside. The current label, with 0-23 listed, and a circle indicating which Line the garment belongs to, was introduced in May 1997. The plain label is still used for runway items.“What most people consider as our logo – the four stitches in the back with the white label inside the garment – had in fact the opposite purpose: it was meant to be cut off so the garment would be without a label and logo!” It is now a well known luxury marking.

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    Deconstruction, recycling, Replica, and “Artisanal” all imply an interest in fashion history, and reviewers took note. “Mr. Margiela has the same respect for old clothes that a medical examiner has for a cadaver.” Martin Margiela confirmed this interest, stating, “‘I’m interested in the entire culture of fashion,’ he said. ‘But I’m not interested in taking one moment of history and copying it.’”The reporter, granted access to the Margiela workroom, noted that Margiela was also interested in his own history, “he does have an archive, a plankboard closet stuffed with clothes: the severed sleeves from his first season, each tiny button at the medieval cuffs unique. The jacket that is now his signature, with its tidy puckered sleeve molded to the shoulder. The first crisp cotton shirt tied with linen laces. His history is stored in boxes of photos, meticulously marked with the year and season.”The article was released in July 1993 and the reporter may well have been seeing the nascent stages of the next collection: in October 1993, Margiela’s runway show was a retrospective of pieces from his entire career up to that point, dyed grey, with the season represented stenciled on the models’ necks.

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    The Maison’s official Glossary definition of Recycling: “The desire to give a garment a second life, with old and new accessories to update it, to reconstruct it, to make a clean break from previous associations. ‘Replica’ clothes: exact reproductions of styles from various eras.” Critics long recognized this, calling Martin Margiela “the grandfather of recycling” in 1992. He stated, “I like to collect old clothes and give them another life. When they are lying there, they are dead.”

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    Every season since 1994, Maison Martin Margiela has introduced a capsule collection within its men’s and women’s lines, including around thirty pieces of garments and accessories, called ‘Replica’. The ‘Replica’ pieces represent the Maison’s interest in highly functional and emotive garments and accessories. The character and charm of these pieces, which are hand-picked throughout the world, are preserved. The ‘Replicas’ are meticulously reproduced and each piece features a special label inside describing the source and period of the original item. The ‘Replica’ concept derives from the notion of timelessness, and relies on the principle that these pieces have already proven the test of time. The idea was to design each garment so that they are as relevant for today as they will be tomorrow. This collection strongly reflects the Maison’s passion and craft for the creative processes involved in designing its garments and accessories and more generally, it exemplifies the Maison’s artistic expression.” Each replica piece comes with a special tag listing Style description, Provenance, and Period.

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    Since its beginnings in 1988, Maison Martin Margiela has been gathering garments, accessories, used and sometimes new objects across the globe. That these garments and objects may be given a second life whilst respecting and maintaining the traces of the passage of time and use remains one of the keystones of the creative expression of the Maison. Each garment is reworked entirely by hand in the atelier of the Maison in Paris. The complexity and specificity of each step of such a creative process of transformation will naturally limit the quantity of garments produced. The individuality of the materials used to create each garment ensures that each is as unique as that which was used to create it. The label, numbered 0, is sewn, embossed or stamped depending on the material used to create the garment or accessory.” “Artisanal” pieces are now shown as haute couture collections.

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    A game, material or shape that tricks the eye. In clothes: a fluid fabrics patterned like a loose knits, a flesh-coloured bodysuit simulating nudity, etc. For accessories: a bundle of American dollars held together by a rubber band becomes a wallet, etc. In architecture: life-size black and white photos that cover the walls, floors or ceilings of Maison Martin Margiela stores, etc.” Trompe-l’oeil is an extremely common feature of MMM clothing and accessories and there are countless examples of it throughout the line’s history.
    *Big-ups to Third Looks: http://www.thirdlooks.com/2012/11/maison-martin-margiela-reference-guide/

    I will be updating this thread with some cool pics of my favorite pieces and hopefully some good convos can be had. No PM needed now!
     
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2017

  4. RegisDB9

    RegisDB9 Rico Suave

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  5. WBaker

    WBaker Senior Member

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  6. RegisDB9

    RegisDB9 Rico Suave

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    The stitch Jacket 11:42 is one of my favorite pieces to wear



    My idea to wear scarfs under a suit jacket came strictly from this season​
     
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2017

  7. robinsongreen68

    robinsongreen68 Distinguished Member

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    ah good stuff man, i hadn't seen that video! the louche tailoring vibe is what i love about margiela menswear. great how it doesn't look dated at all (unlike, say, dior homme)
     

  8. GG Allin

    GG Allin Senior Member

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    This was really informative.
     

  9. Fuuma

    Fuuma Franchouillard Modasse

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  10. RegisDB9

    RegisDB9 Rico Suave

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    I’d like to start off with possibly my ultimate Margiela piece...my favorite piece to wear. This is the Spring/Summer 1999 Artisanal Jacket. The Denim was repaired, rebuilt, hung on a wall and painted simultaneously with other jackets. A particularly nice detail is the hand written “M” on the inside pocket.

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    *Pics by @mumma
     

  11. RegisDB9

    RegisDB9 Rico Suave

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  12. mementomoriarty

    mementomoriarty Senior Member

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    Margiela face pictures
    Margiela bday.jpg Margiela bday 2.jpg
     

  13. RegisDB9

    RegisDB9 Rico Suave

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    [​IMG]
    Martin Margiela – portrait 1997

    As in the best stories about fashion designers, Martin Margiela’s peculiar talent bloomed during the training at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp (1977-1980). He had the chance to attend the Fashion department in the same years of the “Antwerp Six“, a group of designers (graduate between 1980 and 1981) that captured the attention of the international press breaking into the London Fashion Week in 1988. Actually Margiela is generally considered as the seventh symbolic member, despite he wasn’t physically part of the group set up by Walter Van Beirendonck, Ann Demeulemeester, Dries van Noten, Dirk Van Saene, Dirk Bikkembergsand Marina Yee. Their styles were similar and were inspired by the designer Rei Kawakubo (founder of the brand Comme des Garçons) which influenced the Japanese fashion of the 70s with asymmetric cuts and black and white collections.

    [​IMG]
    The “Antwerp Six” group: (from left) Marina Yee, Dries van Noten, Ann Demeulemeester, Walter Van Beirendonck, Dirk Bikkembergs, Dirk Van Saene – London Fashion Week 1988

    After working as freelance stylist and then as assistant of Jean Paul Gaultier (1985-87), Martin Margiela debuted in the summer of 1988 at the Café de la Gare in Paris with the first Maison Martin Margiela womenswear collection for Spring Summer 1989. He presented a show bordering with performing art, where models bathed in red paint paraded with covered faces on a white cotton catwalk. It was a shocking show, but the de-construction and re-construction of vintage items such as a butcher’s apron turned into evening gown, jackets made from an old tulle dress and the split toe Tabi boots with cylindrical heels inspired by the traditional Japanese socks, became early legends.

    [​IMG][​IMG]
    S/S 1989 Women’s show – (Photo: Raf Coolen –
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    S/S 1989 – silk tattoo top; Tabi boots ​


    [​IMG]
    S/S 1989 – First jacket with round shoulders​


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    In the audience could not miss his mentor Jean Paul Gaultier.

    The red paint stained cloth used as catwalk for the first show, was re-used six month later as fabric for the waistcoats of the Fall Winter 1989/1990 collection. The use of second-hand clothes and imperfect fabrics was a blatant act of rebellion against the widespread consumerism and consecrated Margiela as a conceptual designer, conflicting with the conformist fashion of the 80s, just as the hippies had done twenty years before, buying their dressed only at flea markets.

     

  14. mementomoriarty

    mementomoriarty Senior Member

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  15. RegisDB9

    RegisDB9 Rico Suave

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    [​IMG][​IMG]
    A/W 1989 – Explanatory sketch for an outfit and vest made from the red paint-stained cotton of the S/S 1989 catwalk

    [​IMG]
    A/W 1989 – Porcelain vest

    Margiela was fascinated by the idea of giving a second life to vintage clothes remodeling them thanks to his tailoring skills. He felt quite offended when journalists called him “de-constructive“, because his fashion didn’t have a destructive or negative value, rather it was linked to the concept of rebirth. He liked challenging the dresses’ wearability by playing with the proportions; showing inner linings and frayed hems; or using the inner side of the fabric on the outside of the garments. His personal way of making fashion was ahead of the time and soon all the eyes were on his collections and sartorial details, which later were re-proposed by other designers, turning them into commercial fashion trends.


    [​IMG]
    S/S 1990 – Children at schools near the Maison were enlisted to create the invitations.

    [​IMG]
    S/S 1990 – Backstage

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    S/S 1990 – A 200% enlarged tank top, crushed under a skintight invisible net t-shirt, becoming a long draped dress.

    [​IMG][​IMG]
    A/W 1990S/S 1991

    [​IMG]
    A/W 1991

    [​IMG]

    The Spring Summer 1992 show in Saint-Martin metro station. The station had been out of use since 1939. 1600 candles illuminated the tree main stairwells.

    [​IMG][​IMG]
    [​IMG][​IMG]
     

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