At Margiela, a Star is Born
With a touch of the exotic in the fabrics and a tinge of the erotic in flesh-revealing patchworks, an exceptional collection at Maison Martin Margiela brought the designer Matthieu Blazy out of the shadows.
It is rare in fashion to have ‘a star is born’ moment. But as Raf Simons, the young designer’s former boss, hugged his prot?g? backstage, it was clear that Blazy’s moment had come.
That is partly because the original Margiela concept of the ‘artisanal’, putting random and vintage pieces together, seems so right for now. But also because of the way that the current designer took a historic embroidery, bought at auction, and either left it as a simple body wrap or teased it into a patchwork of other materials.
‘It was Paul Poiret’s,’ said Blazy, 30, explaining how a coat with Regency-inspired patterns, from Poiret’s Oriental-themed party in 1911, was reused by the fine Margiela ateliers and shown with a silver, coin-decorated skirt.
Sounds complex? But the real skill of the 16 hours of work on that single outfit, as listed in the weighty programme notes, was the result on the female body. It seemed so simple. The show even had a na?ve and charming moment, when a helium ‘I love you’ party balloon was copied on a heart-shaped bodice.
The start was very ‘Margiela’: a white shirt, with some gilded decoration (which was in fact vintage 1940s jewellery from designer Line Vautrin), and the white cotton boots that were worn throughout.
But the interlocking of fabrics, sometimes leaving tiny spaces to display skin through sheer material, gave a whole new dimension. A big camel coat, made from swatches of subtly different shades, was an example of the ordinary made exceptional.
Some pieces had an oriental exoticism. While an embroidered dress of irises, inspired by Van Gogh’s painting, was simply lovely.
It is understandable that Renzo Rosso, whose company Only the Brave is behind Margiela, should want to keep Blazy backstage – especially since the founding designer so rarely showed his face. But you can’t keep such a talent under wraps.
Photo Credit: InDigital