Who cares about the credit crunch? Obviously not the fashion pack. This was again the case during the Maison Martin Margiela show in Paris this week.
As a Belgian, I might be biased, but I’m always in awe of everything Margiela does. The unwearability, the creativity and the blatant “not giving a crap” is just rare to find again and again in a designer, yet this season he outdid himself again for his 20th anniversary collection.
My favourites were the “fur” coats, which were seemingly extensions of the wigs the models wore. Genius. All the models had disguised faces, whether they were covered in hair, clothing or tights, which perhaps could be a reference to the anonimity that Margiela himself enjoys, as he refuses to be photographed or interviewed.
Does this translate into commercial success? Of course not! But remember his oversized shoulderpads collection two seasons ago, which singlehandedly marked the return of the shoulderpad (albeit in a smaller version) in many collections a season later. His collections in stores are always a lot more accessible versions of what he puts on the catwalk anyway, but you get the idea.
Margiela is an innovator, who pushes boundaries and a lot of people’s buttons. You don’t have to like it, but you’ve got to at least appreciate his courage and his persistence for doing this again and again, without giving in to commercial and financial pressures, even after 20 seasons.
For a true fashion lover, this is pure poetry.