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The fashion doc featuring 90s footage of Rei, Yohji, and Martin Margiela

M2M’s documentary explores the anti-fashion movement of the early 90s

The temperature has dropped almost three degrees, last night it rained for the first time in approx. eighteen years, and the end of the heatwave that has ravaged the entire world is in sight (at least for this year). It’s not long until the nights start drawing in, wearing entirely black outfits is once more acceptable, and all semblance of an actual life is swapped for long stints in the company of Netflix. With that in mind, we’ve uncovered a 2012 fashion documentary that needs to be on your must-watch list when drinking rosé in the park is but a hazy, distant memory. Or, you know, you can watch it now if you like. 

Telling the story of the rise of ‘anti’-fashion as it infiltrated the catwalk in the early 90s, the hour-long film – aptly entitled Anti-Fashion – is a bonafide treasure trove of archival and little-seen footage (we’ll ignore the fact the AI-esque voiceover is more than a little jarring). Documenting the works of Helmut Lang, Rei Kawakubo, Yohji Yamamoto, and Hussein Chalayan, it also features interviews with Ann Demeulemeester, Rick Owens, and Raf Simons, as well as London’s very own enfant terribles John Galliano and Alexander McQueen. And that’s before we’ve even gotten started on another amazing moment in which some sullen, moody teens discuss their thoughts on another anti-fashion movement: grunge.

Amongst all that, though, there’s one particular clip that really caught our attention. Shot in the late 80s in Jean Paul Gaultier’s Paris atelier, according to the team behind the documentary it features an appearance from Martin Margiela. At the time, the elusive designer was working as Gaultier’s assistant, and the footage in question sees him sorting through a pile of shoes, and holding up garments for his mentor’s approval.

“At the time, Margiela was working as Gaultier’s assistant, and the footage in question sees him sorting through a pile of shoes, and holding up garments for his mentor’s approval”

Later, there’s another brief glimpse of the Belgian iconoclast, this time backstage at his 1992 Salvation Army-set show, as well as video footage from a later presentation which saw Anna Wintour and Carine Roitfeld jump on the Paris Metro and head to Margiela’s squat-cum-art-studio to watch a Super-8 video of his new collection – with cheap red wine in plastic cups offered as refreshment.

Given his policy of anonymity and the fact there are less than a handful of images of Martin on the internet (and not one of those has been confirmed or denied by the Maison as legitimate), it’s still not 100 percent certain that Gaultier’s assistant is definitely him. But, following the news that the designer himself is involved in an upcoming documentary unpacking the mystery of the house, perhaps it won’t be that long until we find out for sure. 

Watch Anti-Fashion on M2M’s fashion video network here