Image by Re-Design for Life.
Finally I made it to Somerset House to see the Maison Martin Margiela exhibition. I followed the iconic Tabi footprints, which led me into a bright white space. Here, I found a Maison Martin Margiela group portrait, cut from white Styrofoam Margiela wanting to maintain his anonymity is not included in the portrait. A white board explained the familar numbers that became the respected (non) label for Margiela's collections.
In the following space a huge screen presented the Maison's 20th anniversary show. Two decades of influential fashion concepts and key pieces were re-visited before me on film. I was captivated. Tearing myself away, I walked up to a canvas trompe l"oeil printed curtain, which gave the illusion of a large empty room. Once through the curtain, I entered a white-washed room showing concepts and garments from 20 year's of Margiela collections.
One of which was the 1996 Spring-Summer Trompe L'Oeil collection in which simple garment shapes were cut in soft, fluid fabrics. Each piece is then printed with a photograph of another completely different garment. A cardigan, for example, is printed with a safari jacket. A dress with a photographic print of the inside of a 1960's cocktail dress. A 'chesterfield' sofa effect is printed onto a leather jacket. The colour palette - reminiscent of old photographs - is kept to black, white, sepia and brown tints.
Other concepts included a dress with it's hemline lifted and stitched to one shoulder revealing a slip dress made from vintage lace slips. A satin halter dress with it's skirt made from two different skirts, one stitched onto the other. A second-hand man's suit jacket, painted over with silver paint. Blouses and jackets with their sleeves repositioned to the front. A sleeveless woollen top with visible, frayed lining at the neck, armholes and seams. A dress made from lining fabric with visible darts on the outside. A jacket made from a man's jacket sleeves. Another jacket made with the sleeves switched and sewn back to front, so that the jacket can be worn with the fastening at the back. A patchwork vest made from stitched interfacings. A halter neck top made from second hand gloves...
Oh! How I have been inspired by Maison Martin Margiela over the years. The master of de-construction - reinterpreting how a garment should be worn by taking it apart and recreating every piece with skillfully crafted precision.