The famous Margiela label. The number indicates the collection, in this case 14 - the luxury collection of menswear.

Belgian designer Martin Margiela is one of the world's most hermitic and mysterious fashion figures. He has never been photographed in either the fashion press or in-house publications, preferring to focus attention on the house itself. The designer refuses to grant personal interviews, instead conducting interviews by fax and signing "Maison Martin Margiela," exemplary of his holistic approach to fashion. There is frequently an air of surreal mystery in the collection, and slightly unnerving details like a buttonhole sewn closed, a tailored jacket without a breast pocket, a classic sweater shrunken or blown up to gigantic proportions.

Martin Margiela started his career in the early 1980's, working for Jean-Paul Gaultier before showing his first collection under his own name in 1989.  He is closely associated, though not officially a part of, the Antwerp Six - a group of designers from Antwerp, Belgium that showed their first collections in London in the 1980's. His unusual first collections heavily featured copies of vintage garments, so closely reproduced that the Margiela garment credits its country and year of origin on an unobtrusive tag inside. This practice still continues today, with inspiration as diverse as a French knitting bag from 1940, to an entire collection of clothes copied from Mattel's Barbie and Ken dolls, their proportions unchanged (even to the comparative size of snaps and velcro) for the actual person wearing them. This approach creates a timelessness to Margiela's clothing, adding to the investment value for the wearer.

What sets Maison Martin Margiela apart from other Avant-Garde designers is the brand's committment to wearability in everyday life. For every jacket made entirely from wigs there are ten beautiful basic jackets, featuring outrageously soft superfine wool or cashmere and innovative detail work. You can always find both the ridiculous and the sublime, courtesy of Martin Margiela and available at Butch Blum in Seattle - new arrivals for Fall/Winter 2013/14 in store now!

No comments: