Wednesday, October 08, 2008

big fabric cake.

it's easy to get sucked into the eye candy of fashion. there's a lot of sugar to be had out there. but it tends to have the same effect as feeding a sugar crave at 3:00 in the afternoon. however that affects you-- that's what i mean.

these are from Maison Martin Margiela's SS09 collection. --

it was their 20th anniversary and the collection presented a look back. the show ended with a marching band, silver confetti & a giant tiered cake made of fabric that glided down the runway on 2 pairs of long legs in stilettos. the big fabric cake was the reason i started this post a week ago. except then i viewed the collection & then i was studying it & a week later this post is about the designer.

i read mostly the same kinds of things about Martin Margiela (although there are deeper pockets if you're persistent)-- that he's elusive, invisible or reclusive, depending on who's writing about him & i'm assuming these articles were written without the benefit of his personal input because it has been said repeatedly that he does not grant interviews.

The Antwerp 6.
it should be no secret that i'm most passionate about the Japanese designers- deconstructed clothes & exaggerated details ex: those long, long sleeves that i love. it was on my list to find out more about deconstruction. i know what it means, but why deconstruction or is it deconstruction what?

this blurb about the Antwerp 6 was an aha! moment of discovery.

During the 1980s, the Japanese avantgardists, with Rei Kawakubo (Comme des Garcons), had turned the fashion scene upside-down with their eccentric and ground-breaking designs. Martin Margiela and the Antwerp Six would carry on the work, revolting against the luxurious fashion world with garments of oversized proportions such as long arms, and with linings, seams and hems on the outside. The concept of deconstruction, also embraced by the aforementioned Rei Kawakubo, is important for the understanding of Martin Margiela's fashion statement. Mr Margiela famously redesigns by hand objects such as old wigs, canvases and silk scarves into couture garments.

The Antwerp Six refers to a group of influential avantgarde fashion designers graduating from Antwerp's Royal Academy of Fine Arts between 1980-1981. At the academy they were taught by Linda Loppa. The fashion collective presented a distinct radical vision for fashion during the 1980s that established Antwerp as a notable location for fashion design. The breakthrough occurred in 1988 as the group rented a truck and set out for London fashion fair with respective collections. Martin Margiela, another Belgian contemporary, was not actually part of the group that showed in London although he is often mistakenly described as one of the Antwerp Six: he had moved to Paris, where he worked initially for Jean Paul Gaultier.
i got lost on his website. not everything is archived, but there are collections that date back to 2003 & i looked at all of them, with particular attention to the 0 Artisanal collections.

images source: Maison Martin Margiela

0 (garments remodelled by hand)
Assembled directly on a tailor's dummy the bodice is created from three separate children's frocks and their tulle slips with one entire dress used to create each sleeve. The collar of each blouse is constructed from the underskirts of a dress with the ribbon belt of the original dress used to tie the cuffs of the new garment

MM6 (garments for women)
top: Cotton stretch dress with XX long sleeves and neckline and shoes with trainer print.
: Cotton XX long body, sleeves and neckline dress and shoes with trainer print.

0 (garments remodelled by hand)

0 (garments remodelled by hand)
jacket covered in black gaffer tape


0 (garments remodelled by hand)
" Umbrella Rainjacket"
Assembling four umbrellas that overlap each other and form a short rainjacket. The original details, such as the ferrules, are maintained on the finished article and the Velcro straps become the wrist fastenings.

i might not have had the aha! moment if i'd researched the concept of deconstruction methodically. in an obvious way, like googling deconstruction + fashion + design.

this way was better because it feels like i've been gravitating blindly towards the information & then suddenly everything just linked up.

here's the back of the big fabric cake by the way--

image source:


Maison Martin Margiela - The Exhibition