Martin Margiela at Momu Antwerp.
Martin Margiela spent the 80’s and 90’s establishing his reputation as a avant-garde designer. He looked at fashion like no other designers at that time. Instead of creating from the inside out, his collections for Martin Margiela were known for deconstruction. He used recovered and recycled materials to create broken down and conceptual designs what were quite risky in the 90’s.
At the end of the 1990’s Jean-Louis Dumas, then the CEO of Hermès, approached Margiela offering him the position as head designer for women ready-to-wear. The press, fans and Hermès were looking forward to the breath of fresh air that Margiela would instil into the Parisian brand. Not only was he he talented, is was also a mystery to the fashion world. As he often refused interviews and was determined to remain anonymous up to the point of his new position at Hermès. “They thought he was going to deconstruct the Hermès icons; they hoped he was going to cut the Birkin in two!" laughs Karen van Godtsenhoven, one of the curators of Margiela: The Hermès Years of Modemusuem in Antwerp.
Instead of the press’ scrutinous forecasts, Margiela presented elegant and neutral pallets for the first Hermès autumn/winter 98. He also did not produce Hermes signature printed scarves or handbags. Which was a huge risk for Hermès. In the eyes of the press, this was a failure. Instead he created sleek designs for the Hermès women. Focusing on comfort, wearability, and timelessness. Margiela had a massive respect for women, and designed with them in mind. Often asking models how it felt, or which features were important to accentuate.
The Momu in Antwerp will be exhibiting collections from Martin Margiela and Hermès from 31st of March 2017 to 27th of August 2017. The exhibit is aimed to show the subtle similarities between the two brands. Comparative pieces will be shown on a white background for Margiela and the iconic orange for Hermès. As well as videos to demonstrate how to wear his more conceptual pieces, an archive of catwalk footage, press articles and model casting boards. Truly giving fans a backstage view of Martin Margiela and his creative kingdom.