31 March

Exhibition of the month: Martin Margiela The Hermès Years

 

MoMu, the Antwerp fashion museum, is currently showing a major retrospective of Martin Margiela’s collections for Hermès, which highlight the enormous influence this iconoclastic designer had on the world of fashion, from the late 1990s right up until today.

By Delphine Roche

  • Martin Margiela House P/E 2009, Photo: Marina Faust
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  • Martin Margiela House A/H 1996-1997, Photo: Marina Faust
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  • Martin Margiela House A/H 1996-1997, Photo: Anders Erdström
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  • Martin Margiela House spring-summer 2009, photo: Giovanni Giannoni
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  • Martin Margiela House A/H 2000-2001, Photo: Marina Faust
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  • Hermès, fall-winter 2001-2002, Le Monde d’Hermès, photo: Ralph Mecke.
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  • Hermès, fall-winter 2001-2002, Le Monde d’Hermès, photo : Ralph Mecke.
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  • It’s already been eight years since Belgian designer Martin Margiela took a bow from fashion, and yet his legacy has never been so evident as in today’s collections. A good reason for MoMu, the Antwerp fashion mu­seum, to devote an exhibition to him. “We’d already marked the 20th an­niversary of his label, but had never celebrated the magnificent collec­tions he designed for Hermès,” ex­plains Kaat Debo, the museum’s director and the curator of the show. 

     

    When, in 1997, the venerable brand hired a designer renowned for his avant-gardism and his intelli­gent deconstruction of everything to do with fashion, the general reaction was one of surprise. Some feared that Hermès’s tradition of excellence would be squandered in a risky re­vamp attempt. But in fact it was to the definition of luxury itself that Margiela applied all his celebrated radicalism. “He invented a new life­style for the Hermès woman,” ex­plains Debo. “Because these were expensive, luxury garments, he wanted to create a very high-quality, timeless wardrobe, all the while of­fering versatile clothes that could be worn in different ways. He decided to work on a very neutral colour code of black, brown, grey, white, ivory and beige. It was revolutionary, be­cause Hermès was known for its prints and bright colours. He also put on fashion shows in the Rue du Faubourg-Saint-Honoré boutique so that clients could see close up the very high quality of these anti-spec­tacular clothes.”

     

    While Margiela has long been labelled “conceptual”, the MoMu show reminds us of the love of cloth­ing that underpinned his vision, and brings out all the richness of its many facets. While Margiela may have been imitated a thousand times, he’s never once been equalled.

     

    Margiela. The Hermès Years, ModeMuseum Antwerp, 31 March–27 August, www.momu.be

     

    MORE: “Disobedient Bodies”, J. W. Anderson’s big show

    WE RECOMMEND: Portfolio: Takashi Murakami exhibits his personal collection of ceramics

     

  • It’s already been eight years since Belgian designer Martin Margiela took a bow from fashion, and yet his legacy has never been so evident as in today’s collections. A good reason for MoMu, the Antwerp fashion mu­seum, to devote an exhibition to him. “We’d already marked the 20th an­niversary of his label, but had never celebrated the magnificent collec­tions he designed for Hermès,” ex­plains Kaat Debo, the museum’s director and the curator of the show. 

     

    When, in 1997, the venerable brand hired a designer renowned for his avant-gardism and his intelli­gent deconstruction of everything to do with fashion, the general reaction was one of surprise. Some feared that Hermès’s tradition of excellence would be squandered in a risky re­vamp attempt. But in fact it was to the definition of luxury itself that Margiela applied all his celebrated radicalism. “He invented a new life­style for the Hermès woman,” ex­plains Debo. “Because these were expensive, luxury garments, he wanted to create a very high-quality, timeless wardrobe, all the while of­fering versatile clothes that could be worn in different ways. He decided to work on a very neutral colour code of black, brown, grey, white, ivory and beige. It was revolutionary, be­cause Hermès was known for its prints and bright colours. He also put on fashion shows in the Rue du Faubourg-Saint-Honoré boutique so that clients could see close up the very high quality of these anti-spec­tacular clothes.”

     

    While Margiela has long been labelled “conceptual”, the MoMu show reminds us of the love of cloth­ing that underpinned his vision, and brings out all the richness of its many facets. While Margiela may have been imitated a thousand times, he’s never once been equalled.

     

    Margiela. The Hermès Years, ModeMuseum Antwerp, 31 March–27 August, www.momu.be

     

    MORE: “Disobedient Bodies”, J. W. Anderson’s big show

    WE RECOMMEND: Portfolio: Takashi Murakami exhibits his personal collection of ceramics

     

  • It’s already been eight years since Belgian designer Martin Margiela took a bow from fashion, and yet his legacy has never been so evident as in today’s collections. A good reason for MoMu, the Antwerp fashion mu­seum, to devote an exhibition to him. “We’d already marked the 20th an­niversary of his label, but had never celebrated the magnificent collec­tions he designed for Hermès,” ex­plains Kaat Debo, the museum’s director and the curator of the show. 

     

    When, in 1997, the venerable brand hired a designer renowned for his avant-gardism and his intelli­gent deconstruction of everything to do with fashion, the general reaction was one of surprise. Some feared that Hermès’s tradition of excellence would be squandered in a risky re­vamp attempt. But in fact it was to the definition of luxury itself that Margiela applied all his celebrated radicalism. “He invented a new life­style for the Hermès woman,” ex­plains Debo. “Because these were expensive, luxury garments, he wanted to create a very high-quality, timeless wardrobe, all the while of­fering versatile clothes that could be worn in different ways. He decided to work on a very neutral colour code of black, brown, grey, white, ivory and beige. It was revolutionary, be­cause Hermès was known for its prints and bright colours. He also put on fashion shows in the Rue du Faubourg-Saint-Honoré boutique so that clients could see close up the very high quality of these anti-spec­tacular clothes.”

     

    While Margiela has long been labelled “conceptual”, the MoMu show reminds us of the love of cloth­ing that underpinned his vision, and brings out all the richness of its many facets. While Margiela may have been imitated a thousand times, he’s never once been equalled.

     

    Margiela. The Hermès Years, ModeMuseum Antwerp, 31 March–27 August, www.momu.be

     

    MORE: “Disobedient Bodies”, J. W. Anderson’s big show

    WE RECOMMEND: Portfolio: Takashi Murakami exhibits his personal collection of ceramics

     

  • It’s already been eight years since Belgian designer Martin Margiela took a bow from fashion, and yet his legacy has never been so evident as in today’s collections. A good reason for MoMu, the Antwerp fashion mu­seum, to devote an exhibition to him. “We’d already marked the 20th an­niversary of his label, but had never celebrated the magnificent collec­tions he designed for Hermès,” ex­plains Kaat Debo, the museum’s director and the curator of the show. 

     

    When, in 1997, the venerable brand hired a designer renowned for his avant-gardism and his intelli­gent deconstruction of everything to do with fashion, the general reaction was one of surprise. Some feared that Hermès’s tradition of excellence would be squandered in a risky re­vamp attempt. But in fact it was to the definition of luxury itself that Margiela applied all his celebrated radicalism. “He invented a new life­style for the Hermès woman,” ex­plains Debo. “Because these were expensive, luxury garments, he wanted to create a very high-quality, timeless wardrobe, all the while of­fering versatile clothes that could be worn in different ways. He decided to work on a very neutral colour code of black, brown, grey, white, ivory and beige. It was revolutionary, be­cause Hermès was known for its prints and bright colours. He also put on fashion shows in the Rue du Faubourg-Saint-Honoré boutique so that clients could see close up the very high quality of these anti-spec­tacular clothes.”

     

    While Margiela has long been labelled “conceptual”, the MoMu show reminds us of the love of cloth­ing that underpinned his vision, and brings out all the richness of its many facets. While Margiela may have been imitated a thousand times, he’s never once been equalled.

     

    Margiela. The Hermès Years, ModeMuseum Antwerp, 31 March–27 August, www.momu.be

     

    MORE: “Disobedient Bodies”, J. W. Anderson’s big show

    WE RECOMMEND: Portfolio: Takashi Murakami exhibits his personal collection of ceramics

     

  • It’s already been eight years since Belgian designer Martin Margiela took a bow from fashion, and yet his legacy has never been so evident as in today’s collections. A good reason for MoMu, the Antwerp fashion mu­seum, to devote an exhibition to him. “We’d already marked the 20th an­niversary of his label, but had never celebrated the magnificent collec­tions he designed for Hermès,” ex­plains Kaat Debo, the museum’s director and the curator of the show. 

     

    When, in 1997, the venerable brand hired a designer renowned for his avant-gardism and his intelli­gent deconstruction of everything to do with fashion, the general reaction was one of surprise. Some feared that Hermès’s tradition of excellence would be squandered in a risky re­vamp attempt. But in fact it was to the definition of luxury itself that Margiela applied all his celebrated radicalism. “He invented a new life­style for the Hermès woman,” ex­plains Debo. “Because these were expensive, luxury garments, he wanted to create a very high-quality, timeless wardrobe, all the while of­fering versatile clothes that could be worn in different ways. He decided to work on a very neutral colour code of black, brown, grey, white, ivory and beige. It was revolutionary, be­cause Hermès was known for its prints and bright colours. He also put on fashion shows in the Rue du Faubourg-Saint-Honoré boutique so that clients could see close up the very high quality of these anti-spec­tacular clothes.”

     

    While Margiela has long been labelled “conceptual”, the MoMu show reminds us of the love of cloth­ing that underpinned his vision, and brings out all the richness of its many facets. While Margiela may have been imitated a thousand times, he’s never once been equalled.

     

    Margiela. The Hermès Years, ModeMuseum Antwerp, 31 March–27 August, www.momu.be

     

    MORE: “Disobedient Bodies”, J. W. Anderson’s big show

    WE RECOMMEND: Portfolio: Takashi Murakami exhibits his personal collection of ceramics

     

  • It’s already been eight years since Belgian designer Martin Margiela took a bow from fashion, and yet his legacy has never been so evident as in today’s collections. A good reason for MoMu, the Antwerp fashion mu­seum, to devote an exhibition to him. “We’d already marked the 20th an­niversary of his label, but had never celebrated the magnificent collec­tions he designed for Hermès,” ex­plains Kaat Debo, the museum’s director and the curator of the show. 

     

    When, in 1997, the venerable brand hired a designer renowned for his avant-gardism and his intelli­gent deconstruction of everything to do with fashion, the general reaction was one of surprise. Some feared that Hermès’s tradition of excellence would be squandered in a risky re­vamp attempt. But in fact it was to the definition of luxury itself that Margiela applied all his celebrated radicalism. “He invented a new life­style for the Hermès woman,” ex­plains Debo. “Because these were expensive, luxury garments, he wanted to create a very high-quality, timeless wardrobe, all the while of­fering versatile clothes that could be worn in different ways. He decided to work on a very neutral colour code of black, brown, grey, white, ivory and beige. It was revolutionary, be­cause Hermès was known for its prints and bright colours. He also put on fashion shows in the Rue du Faubourg-Saint-Honoré boutique so that clients could see close up the very high quality of these anti-spec­tacular clothes.”

     

    While Margiela has long been labelled “conceptual”, the MoMu show reminds us of the love of cloth­ing that underpinned his vision, and brings out all the richness of its many facets. While Margiela may have been imitated a thousand times, he’s never once been equalled.

     

    Margiela. The Hermès Years, ModeMuseum Antwerp, 31 March–27 August, www.momu.be

     

    MORE: “Disobedient Bodies”, J. W. Anderson’s big show

    WE RECOMMEND: Portfolio: Takashi Murakami exhibits his personal collection of ceramics

     

  • It’s already been eight years since Belgian designer Martin Margiela took a bow from fashion, and yet his legacy has never been so evident as in today’s collections. A good reason for MoMu, the Antwerp fashion mu­seum, to devote an exhibition to him. “We’d already marked the 20th an­niversary of his label, but had never celebrated the magnificent collec­tions he designed for Hermès,” ex­plains Kaat Debo, the museum’s director and the curator of the show. 

     

    When, in 1997, the venerable brand hired a designer renowned for his avant-gardism and his intelli­gent deconstruction of everything to do with fashion, the general reaction was one of surprise. Some feared that Hermès’s tradition of excellence would be squandered in a risky re­vamp attempt. But in fact it was to the definition of luxury itself that Margiela applied all his celebrated radicalism. “He invented a new life­style for the Hermès woman,” ex­plains Debo. “Because these were expensive, luxury garments, he wanted to create a very high-quality, timeless wardrobe, all the while of­fering versatile clothes that could be worn in different ways. He decided to work on a very neutral colour code of black, brown, grey, white, ivory and beige. It was revolutionary, be­cause Hermès was known for its prints and bright colours. He also put on fashion shows in the Rue du Faubourg-Saint-Honoré boutique so that clients could see close up the very high quality of these anti-spec­tacular clothes.”

     

    While Margiela has long been labelled “conceptual”, the MoMu show reminds us of the love of cloth­ing that underpinned his vision, and brings out all the richness of its many facets. While Margiela may have been imitated a thousand times, he’s never once been equalled.

     

    Margiela. The Hermès Years, ModeMuseum Antwerp, 31 March–27 August, www.momu.be

     

    MORE: “Disobedient Bodies”, J. W. Anderson’s big show

    WE RECOMMEND: Portfolio: Takashi Murakami exhibits his personal collection of ceramics

     

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