Sunday, July 8, 2007

maison martin margiela

the chambre syndicale de la haute couture is one of the most prestigious governments working in the fashion industry for over a century. it is basically the body which determines what can be considered haute couture within its very strict stardards and guidelines. today there are only about ten recognized couture houses in existence. most of them revered french houses of international status such as dior or chanel. there are however some highly influential designers who work within the spirit of couture. they produce garments that are all hand made, lovingly worked and steadfastly thought about. one of those designers is martin margiela. ever since he arrived in the fashion scene during the eighties with the second wave of belgian designers following the success of the antwerp six a few years before, margiela has been one the designers who has had the most impact, and also the quietest. because his house is not one that garners explicit media attention, he and his team has, under the radar, are able to work freely to explore their avant garde ideas. his "couture" collection called artisanal are based on using found objects such as cummerbunds, ski gloves, old shoes, bow ties, or discarded canvas bags are a marvel in originality and technical ability. unquestionably one of the most intellectual of all design houses, margiela expands that intellectual approach beyond clothing design to encompass the whole image of the company. from their retail space, website, to its infamous "non label" label and shopping bags. the spirit of the house is one of moving foward and expanding bounderies that exceeds the fashion spectrum and jumps into high art without losing the purpose of what garments are made for, which are to be worn. margiela and his team might not garner the attention of the mass media, but that suits him, and the rest of us who are so enraptured by him just fine.


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