There was a dress at Maison Martin Margiela Artisanal, as the house's couture line is called, that looked a bit like a can of energy drink, even if it was inspired by artist Felix Gonzàlez-Torres' "Candy Floors". It was certainly as revitalising, constructed entirely of metallic sweet wrappers. Here vintage clothes and objects, already imbued with their own history, are turned into something even more precious, in a prismic entwining of past and present. This is about the mark of time as much as clothes.
Such a parallel take on the art of high-sewing is part of the Margiela idiosyncrasy, and has been since the Maison's inception in 1988. After days of the most sublime, refined realisation on earth, here came the raw energy.
Rounding up the schedule and taking place in an old hot air balloon workshop in the 10th, it was here the white lab coat uniform of the Maison, a reference to the petite mains of Paris ateliers, came home as an ultimate tribute.
Dresses from the 1920s were restored onto frames and reassembled onto chiffon, silk threads resembling the brush strokes on a painting. Embroidery samples were sewn onto nylon veiling, assembled on a Stockman into an ensemble held together by wide elastic. A 50s ball gown was altered to become a 'cigarette line' waistcoat dress.
Handmade shoes were emulsioned Margiela white as the models' faces were covered in hand-embroidery. Painting began here as a way to tie found objects together with uniformity, but it's a sense of event within that which makes it all so stimulating. Looking at Margiela is a bit like watching Poirot or Midsomer Murders – start with the imprint of humanity and work backwards. This is a house of human remains.
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