desperately seeking Martin

He is the invisible man.

In the mid 90’s he was gone out of our sight, but the presence of the genius was apparent in each garment, show, installation and even in every invitation letter. In the mid-noughties he was gone out of his own fashion house. Oddly the official website begins the archives with the year 2003 – that’s not even half-way down the historical path of the Martin Margiela’s oeuvre. What is R. Rosso’s enterprise trying to hide? I may imagine the reason behind such bias timeline is to show the ‘future’ of the brand designed by the ‘new fresh team’ as Mr. Rosso likes to put it – that is a positive commercial reason. But when I look behind it, I see a database of innovative and ground-breaking ideas that may just be The Archives of 1988-2002. The new team works in-line with the former aesthetic, and sure they would – they’ve got a provision of innovative ideas good enough for a couple of years. And then what? What will happen to the future MMM collections when they will run out of the references?

A small pop-up window on the MMM website says: “The past is in the future”. That brings me to the first point – we got the Diesel Group’s strategy figured, but I’m scared of a persistent thought.

There is NO FUTURE.

chasing the tabi ghost at Somerset House, London

On the other hand, I’ve heard the story about one intern at Maison Martin Margiela who was utterly surprised to hear that Mr. Margiela did not invent the tabi boots, that they are actually worn by Japanese peasants and construction workers… on hearing that I wonder, will anyone bother to look into the history and value the work signed by Martin Margiela himself, or will most people buy into the Maison’s new marketing strategy?

One Russian proverb goes: “the best new is the well forgotten old”, and that is surely one way of thinking. Unfortunately, I believe that there’s an immediate need to innovate at any given time. Whether one does it through references and re-interpretation or a complete denial of the past – the choice is a matter of a personal preference, but the fact remains that when you begin to repeat yourself, you slowly deteriorate, become a dictionary, a history book, a documentary. Full stop.

And just may be the most logical step was to quit the brand (and by the way, since when do we refer to Maison Martin Margiela as to a ‘brand? Isn’t it a ‘fashion house’?!).

image from

Martin Margiela is probably one of the most romanticised figures in fashion industry, so absent that his name almost becomes a concept. That was a 90’s thing to do. But we have entered the teens, and here I will optimistically say that there’s an entire sub-culture that is not looking for any celebrity figure to worship, instead they create their own celebrities – short-lived popularity of many blogs is a bright example. The phenomenon of blogging rests on the cult of presence, so to speak – numerous tiny selfish bubbles of fashion exhibitionism! But think about it, in the sea of personalities that populate the blogosphere one new blogger is mostly invisible, unaccounted for. You can hide so well by putting yourself right out there on a frontline and communicate freely from any chosen identity.

Just imagine for a second a blog written by Martin Margiela – not the team in white labcoats, but the man himself. Communication does not imply visibility.

That is just a thought from one little invisible blog.


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