by Anna Carnick
Adding fuel to an already fiery mystique, Maison Martin Margiela lifts just a corner of the veil surrounding the enigmatic fashion icon in the self-titled book published by Rizzoli.
Often referred to as the seventh member of the Antwerp Six, Margielaâ€™s famous for a high fashion oeuvre characterized by an overwhelmingly subversive beauty including daring deconstruction, non-traditional fabrics, oversized proportions and provocative reinterpretations of classics. Writing to Margiela in the bookâ€™s introductory essay, Jean Paul Gaultier—for whom Margiela worked for three years early on in his career—remarks â€œFor 20 years already, youâ€™ve been methodically dissecting the garments with a scalpel to extract the â€˜substance from the marrowâ€™ and reinvent them.â€
Margiela is also widely known for eschewing the spotlight, a highly unusual move in the world of fashion, and one that feeds into his cult-like following. Photos of the founder are rare, as are face-to-face or even phone interviews—most journalists are simply fortunate to communicate with him via fax.
Designed by Margiela himself, the book features hundreds of images pulled from his personal archives, many never before seen, depicting shows, exhibitions, editorials and more. From his first jacket to the atelierâ€™s 20th anniversary show, the spirit of Margiela shines throughout. Essays by international design stars, including the likes of Gaultier and Vanessa Beecroft, appear as mini booklets throughout the 300+ page collection, all wrapped in a white embroidered fabric cover.
For years it seemed enough to let the clothes—and, in the last few years, also jewelry and home décor—speak for themselves. With this collection, Margiela offers us a few new pieces of the puzzle. An intimate look at one of the most secretive houses in fashion, what comes through clearest is a life passionately dedicated to pushing the limits of his art.
Released today, Maison Martin Margiela is available now from Amazon.