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Maison Martin Margiela Artisanal Couture SS14

Eclectic stories of obsessive collectors emerge in repurposed prints and tattoo embroidery

TextSusie LauPhotographyLea Colombo

Initial reaction: 

Makes you want to plan a road trip across America to visit estate sales, flea markets and odd shops of curiosities to see what you can find. Except what you find will never be as expertly remade, repurposed and reinterpreted as it has been by the brilliant team behind Maison Martin Margiela's Artisanal line. 


Remember that scene in Sound of Music when Julie Andrews tears up some curtains to make play clothes for the kids? Frank Lloyd Wright's geometric interiors fabrics from the 1950s were reused and mounted onto corsets, and early 20th century textile designer Raoul Dufy's prints were made up into snazzy suits. 

Stand out pieces:

A toss up between the collaged top of "tattoo" embroideries based on American tattoo artist Norman Keith Collins aka, Sailor Jerry's designs, and a black striped oversized peacoat made out of aluminium balloons held together with satin baguettes. 


Recurring song was Robert Miles' trance anthem Children. It was at odds with the collages of storied fabrics and vintage clothing perhaps but nonetheless got the crowd pumped up on a freezing cold morning. Even the camera men were raving it up.

The source:

Margiela's Artisanal line has always been about creating treasure out of trash but this collection in particular really honed in on the idea of collecting things – what fuels obsessive collection tendencies and the eclectic stories that emerge from collectors. Once again, Margiela rips up the rule book by almost desecrating the original source material and objects that would otherwise be locked away in display cabinets and stored in archives. The results of this "desecration" process are extraordinary.