Tag Archives: Martin Margiela


There are different needs in the fashion world and I’m not sure I can feed them… I don’t like the idea of being a celebrity; anonymity is very important to me… I pushed myself constantly to extremes. I always wanted to have my name linked to the product I created, not to the face I have. — Martin Margiela*

Martin Margiela began his career as an assistant to Jean Paul Gaultier and was the creative director at Hermès from 1997 to 2003. He and business partner Jenny Meirens opened Maison Martin Margiela in 1989, and for the next twenty years—through 41 collections—revolutionized fashion.

Margiela left the fashion world in 2008. Ten year later, Reiner Holzemer—director of an acclaimed 2017 documentary about Dries Van Noten—persuaded the designer to commit, on audiotape, a reflection of his archive and legacy. The resulting film—MARTIN MARGIELA—IN HIS OWN WORDS, featuring on camera interviews with Gaultier, Cathy Horyn, Olivier Saillard, Carine Roitfeld and others—premiered last year at Doc NYC and is available for streaming now.

See link below for details.


Written, directed, and co-produced by Reiner Holzemer.

Soundtrack by Deus.

Above and below, from top: Reiner Holzemer, Martin Margiela—In His Own Words (2019), film stills (9), courtesy and © Maison Martin Margiela, Paris, the filmmaker and Dogwoof Sales. Bottom: Maison Martin Margiela label, courtesy and © Maison Martin Margiela.


Twenty years ago I got to know Anders Edström when he started taking pictures for a magazine I worked for, and still do, called Purple. He’d been taking pictures for Martin Margiela, Purple’s fashion hero. His pictures made me think he had a preternatural sense for photography, for which light is its primary medium. And while his subjects were the phenomenal world, his photographs were never flashy, graphic, geometric, sexy, or shocking. Yet he was always able to capture the essence or singularity of things in themselves.

Immanuel Kant called everything in the visible world phenomena. He called the invisible matter that holds the world together the noumenon. He had no idea what that was. Scientists in the coming century would revive the Greek thinker Democritus’s term atom to describe the building blocks of phenomena. Later they speculated on the existence of Dark Matter, which is as mysterious as Kant’s noumenon and supposedly occupies the majority of the universe.

Looking at Anders’ pictures all these years I’ve often felt he focused as much on the atmosphere of light as the phenomena caught in his lens. The best photographers do that. But most of life is a quest for some kind of foreground position, which is most often what is photographed. Ander’s always seemed to look a bit further or maybe a bit behind, letting the backgrounds come to the fore as he searched for the quiddity, the very thingness of the material world, which, as Einstein said, is composed of light and energy.

Two days before I wrote this Anders told me he set these pictures up in a spiral pattern, based on how and when the pictures were taken, often in many exposures. I thought of Heraclitus saying, everything remains in flux, you can’t step into the same river twice, accept the logos because its immanent in the world and transcends the mind. It’s how one might think about these pictures.

Jeff Rian
Paris, 2019

Anders Edström: Spreads
Exhibition running from February 16–March 31, 2019 at Fullersta Gård, Huddinge.


The 2017 Antwerp exhibition on the Hermès years of Martin Margiela is now up at MAD, organized by the designer.



Through September 2.

Musée des Arts Décoratifs

107 rue de Rivoli, 1st, Paris.

Above: Image from the Antwerp catalogue courtesy of Lannoo.

Below: Maison Martin Margiela, Autumn/Winter 1996-1997. Photograph by Anders Edström.



MARGIELA GALLIERA 1989-2009, the first Paris retrospective exhibition dedicated to Martin Margiela, is now on view at Palais Galliera.

The show is a collaboration between former Galliera director Olivier Saillard, curator Alexandre Samson, scenographer Ania Martchenko, and Margiela.

“[Margiela] was here until last night doing the makeup for the mannequins. You can feel him in the exhibition—you can recognize everywhere the print of his hands. I did nothing, he did everything.” — Olivier Saillard to Cathy Horyn, March 1, 2018*


MARGIELA GALLIERA 1989-2009, through July 15.

PALAIS GALLIERA, 10 avenue Pierre Ier de Serbie, 16th, Paris.


* Cathy Horynthecut.com/cathy-horyn-margiela-galleria-exhibit

Press release: palaisgalliera.paris.fr/dossiers_de_presse/margiela

Image credits: Palais Galliera and Martin Margiela.