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He is often mistaken as one of the ‘Antwerp Six’.
At the time when Ann Demeulemeester,Walter van Beirendonck, Dries Van Noten, Dirk Van Saene, Dirk Bikkembergs and Marina Yee were showcasing in London, Margiela was already working for Jean Paul Gaultier.
Martin Margiela stayed away from the public eye, remaining backstage after his shows and only allowing press to contact hem via fax.
Maison Martin Margiela’s discreet brand label consists of a blank piece of cloth or with the numbers 0-23. The trademark is attached with four small, white stitches, visible on the outside on unlined garments. The concept behind this was so the tag could be cut out, making the garment anonymous like it’s creator.
Margiela’s work is highly conceptual; a large piece of his repertoire is playing with conventions and recycling. Influenced by Rei Kawakubo, he works with deconstructed garments and frayed edges, nevertheless are his garments perfectly tailored. A lot of his work also includes trompe-l’oeil, a reference to René Magritte.
Margiela left his eponymous label in 2009, leaving the creative staff to continue the collection for several seasons. In 2014 John Galliano was appointed as new head designer.
“[Margiela] asked Ms. Ferretti to make a sweater with elbows, breasts and other traces of the body, “as if someone’s grandmother had worn it hundreds of times, as if someone had found it years later in some attic,” she recalled. It took years to research yarns that could be molded under heat, and she eventually persuaded an automotive factory to let her use an industrial oven to cook the oversize sweater on a huge test dummy. They made only 1,000 sweaters.”