The Museum of Arts Décoratifs hosts the exhibition “Margiela, the Hermès years” conceived and presented in 2017 by the MoMu (Antwerp Fashion Museum) in collaboration with Martin Margiela. This unprecedented project highlights the surprising and fruitful collaboration between Hermès and the Belgian designer from 1997 to 2003.

Between innovative deconstruction and timeless luxury, 98 silhouettes accessorized, dialogue between them to apprehend and to show the approach so special Martin Margiela. These two worlds specific to the fashion designer, thus constitute the starting point of the exhibition “Margiela, the Hermès years”. He is the Daft Punk of fashion: we do not know his face or his voice, the Belgian designer has made the disappearance of his trademark.

Born in 1957, a graduate of the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp, Martin Margiela is certainly one of those, with Rei Kawabuko from Comme des Garçons for example, who have redesigned – and mistreated – contemporary fashion.

Conceptual, subversive, Margiela totally questioned the fashion system at the end of the 80s. Whereas the time had begun to wallow without shame in the super-capitalistic era of supermodels, the money was starting to arrive at Floods in fashion, transforming the sector forever, Margiela, who is then assistant at Jean-Paul Gaultier, creates a radical, subversive mark, at the antipodes of his time. It is called Maison Martin Margiela and was born in 1988.

Highly conceptual, it immediately sets out some principles that will become cult: white becomes the “color” house, the labels are replaced by four stitches apparent in the back, the models that parade will be “real women” of 25 at age 65, cast in the street.





Estelle Varillon