Maison Margiela, "an aesthetic of the unfinished

Maison Margiela, "une esthétique de l’inachevé"

Written by Sheona Issadi

Founded in 1988 by Belgian designer Martin Margiela, the eponymous luxury house quickly gained international recognition for its avant-garde style and eclectic vision of fashion. After studying haute couture at the Royal Academy of Antwerp, he perfected his training with Jean-Paul Gaultier, for whom he remained an assistant for several years. Martin Margiela, "the UFO with an uncompromising vision", then developed his own brand to which he infused his subversive, conceptual and unconventional vision of fashion.

The collections of the House Margiela draw their uniqueness from the use of innovative materials and are often characterized by pure and minimalist silhouettes with deconstructivist lines that Linda Loppa - former director of the Royal Academy of Antwerp - described as "an aesthetic of the unfinished". A singularity that can be seen in the use of reverse sewing, where seams and labels are exposed on the outside of the garments, creating a deliberately deconstructed effect, as well as in the layering and superimposition of materials or the emblematic overcut cuts of the house.

A forerunner in upcycling, the brand is also known for its salvaged pieces, often reinvented to create unique new designs.

Maison Margiela also distinguishes itself in the development of its fashion shows, which The New York Times depicts as "alternately electrifying or funny or sexy, if not downright bizarre." Unveiled as atypical performance art, the venues for these presentations are always unusual and the striking designs emphasize informal clothing creations that direct the eye more to the design than to the model.

In addition to his ready-to-wear collectionscollections, Maison Margiela also offers a line of shoes, accessories and leather goods, as well as a line of perfumes and cosmetics with the common desire to create conceptual basics that embody a singular lifestyle turned towards modernity.

Among the brand's must-haves is the iconic Tabi boot, launched in 1992, evoking a reinterpretation of the traditional Japanese sock that never ceases to seduce enthusiasts.

In 2009, Martin Margiela left the artistic direction of the house, which remained under the reins of the team of designers who continued to work collectively until the appointment of John Galliano who took over the artistic direction of the house in 2009. With Galliano, the brand has evolved to focus more on haute couture, while maintaining the fundamental DNA of the house embodied by its non-conformist aesthetic.

Ultimately, Maison Margiela is a "singular and autonomous entity in the field of luxury", known for its avant-garde and innovative style, which uses unique materials and techniques to create exceptional pieces, as elegant as they are modern.

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