Limelight to Margiela at “Margiela, the Hermès Years”. A deeper look into the elusive fashion iconoclast’s six-year legacy at Hermès.
MoMu (ModeMuseum) Antwerp, Belgium has given the chance for visitors and enthusiasts alike to finally witness the golden days of Belgian stylist, Martin Margiela’s Hermès collections from 1997 to 2003 for the first time. The exhibition entitled “Margiela on the Hermès Years” revealed on Margiela’s journey and the creative interplay of his collection with Hermès and the collections of his own label, Maison Martin Margiela. Not only that but nostalgia await visitors as they discover the identity and characters of Margiela as an individual and a stylist translated through the craftsmanship he poured out for fashion then, and imbued onto fashion now.
Those oblivious to Margiela’s presence and true characters are pardoned, as the stylist is well known for being discreet, if not silent in both the public and the media. The exhibition highlighted collections where Parisian house Hermès appointed Martin Margiela as its artistic director for the women’s ready-to-wear collections in October 1997.
Margiela, known for his anti-fashion approach and unwillingness to ride in the conventional wave of fashion created twelve consecutive Hermès collections throughout 1997 to 2003. Much to people’s dismay, concerns arose as to what Margiela would do towards the Hermès legacy, and if whether Jean-Louis Dumas, then CEO of Hermès made the right move of approaching Margiela for the read-to-wear Hermès women’s collection.
The sleek Margiela identity gave the Hermès collection a rather somber and monochromatic palette, contrasting to the colorful and lively Hermès identity. But these garments and styles from these collections have become a forerunner in modern fashion. Simplicity, comfort and innovation were translated in the pieces, slowly and surely becoming staple to a woman’s wardrobe up to this day.
The exhibition gave visitors and enthusiasts a glimpse of the past, the Margiela identity and more to how and why fashion was brought up the way it was by the eccentric Belgium stylist himself. Ideas and richness of his creativity have undoubtedly inspired and influenced many of the young contemporary designers today.
“Margiela: The Hermès Years” will be on view at ModeMuseum Provincie Antwerpen March 31 to August 27.