Friday, 23 November 2012

Maison Martin Margiela, More than just a Man

Invisible leather wedges from Maison Martin Margiela x H&M
Its Undeniable how much H&M has reshaped the fashion geology in Singapore.  Since its inception in our little piece of shopper’s heaven commonly known as Orchard road, we (predominantly inert style-wise) Singaporeans have become increasingly affluent with the delicate art of styling ourselves.  H&M ‘s involvement with the local retail society  has influenced the public to re-image their (Excruciatingly mundane) everyday dressing, But what really makes H&M spike my fashion barometer is how it can constantly re-imagine  remodel and reinvent itself by churning out its coveted collab lines it holds ever so often. As an ardent enthusiast of the Swedish mega-brand  I would wholeheartedly trade my soul for a lifetime supply H&M clothes but sadly, the devil doesn't work at H&M so I guess I’ll stick to earthly methods to get them.

The List of collab lines include the likes of Alber Elbaz’s synonymous mega-brand “Lanvin”, the eponymous fashion house “Versace” .

Versace for H&M. I had to fight tooth and nail to get the jacket. Totally worth it.

Quite recently, a very singular Collection by the Editor at large for Vogue Japan and street style sweetheart; Anna Dello Russo.  You can also refer to her as fashion’s Guardian, fashion angel and my personal favorite: Dictator of taste (which is usually reserved for me but there are times when exceptions are required. We’re talking about ANNA DELLO RUSSO HERE!!!! The only HUMAN BEING capable of holding a candle to Anna Wintour’s reign in VOGUE.  


 All eyes are always on H&M whenever it decides to drop a bomb and announce a new collab line, but nothing could match up to the anticipation that swelled inside of me when I first caught wind of Their eventual partnership with the highly refined and at times provocative French fashion house Maison martin Margiela (MMM for short). 

Samples of how innovative and contemporary The maison can be

 As a middle class citizen myself, I wouldn't expect everyone to know who or what Maison Martin Margiela is. Truth be told, I was only aware of this brand’s existence when Marc Jacobs commented that he drew inspiration from MMM’s artistry for his previous collection (GOD knows when that happened; I can’t even remember the season).    In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if you happen to be a fervent fan of fashion but know peanuts about MMM.  This is precisely because Maison Martin Margiela is a brand that believes in being enigmatic and prefers to shroud itself from the media whenever possible.  To them, the attention should focus on the creation (the clothes) instead of the creator.

BUT WHY would a fashion house do such a thing? Doesn't every fashion house want to gain publicity so as to grow in popularity? Is MMM trying to commit style suicide? The answer lies with the brand’s namesake designer; the ever elusive Martin Margiela. Born 9 of April 1957 in Belgium, Martin Graduated from The renowned Antwerp’s Royal Academy of fine Arts. According to H&M’s magazine:  He, along with other renowned designers made up the Antwerp Six, the now famous European fashion avant-garde that emerged at the end of the decadent 80. This wave of talent is credited with pushing the fashion industry beyond Paris, New York, London and Milan, Kick-starting today's global market.  Martin later went on to create tidal waves in the fashion scene with his first ready to wear collection in 1989, propelling his status as a Promising designer higher.  Even with his resonating impact on the industry, Margiela refused to give interviews during the initial phases of his success.  He would often make ambiguous statements that left the media wondering what his intentions were.  He was eventually called fashion's "Invisible Man" for obvious reasons. 

MMM x H&M Candy clutch. Sadly, sold out like hotcakes.
Margiela was a man who believed in conceptual designs that were discordant and yet robust. He understood that in order for the design to truly shine, it needed the focus to be on itself and not on trivial matters like the designer or the label.  Till this day, the Maison continues to adopt Martin’s ideology of anti-establishment and chooses to remain pure and simple. Their Atelier in Paris, a former convent, is decked with refurbished counter tops from yard sales while the walls are all white. Their employees wear white lab coats, the traditional color the Maison prides itself with.

In 1997, Margiela became the Women's wear director for Hermes.  Margiela launches his products according to Line numbers. line 10 is known for menswear, line 3 for fragrances and line 22 is for eye wear. this would explain the awkward list of numbers that usually accompany a Maison martin Margiela advertisementTHIS ALONE proves his aptitude for designing , especially since Hermes is known for its versatility. There was even a minor scare about him cutting the Kelly bag down to half its size.  In 2009, he officially resigned from MMM due to "conflicts of interest" with the brand's owner Diesel.  Quite the disappointment because according to sources, the owners wanted to make the brand more mass marketable whereas Margiela was afraid it would take away the brand's reclusive luster , something of an illusion that he has worked so hard to maintain.
Martin Margiela For Hermes
And so with the polymerization of style with substance, MMM x H&M brings forward a mix of the olds and news. I'f you've been to H&M recently and noticed the "re-edition" tag on the MMM line , its because all these designs were already mass produced previously. The reason for this reinvention was that H&M and MMM wanted to educate its virgin patrons about their classics . For those who have been long time aficionados of the brand , this is a treat for them as they get to experience previous designs from past collections they won't be likely to experience in the future anytime soon.  

( Bare with me as i state my final point dolls :D )Some people think Fashion Is just about selling a shirt or sewing a skirt. Its A LOT More than that. Its embodies philosophy ,architectural etc(like what I've said ) . Its So much more on ground level. For those who think people like me who Pay so much attention to the fashion industry are materialistic,  I would like to say this. Does fashion not show individuality. Does it not embody a message. It's more than just highly saturated garments or over-sized bracelets, its a physical representation of your inner DIVA  . It is an art, and like any other art form, it's subjective to each person.   In the end, we are our own DICTATORS of STYLE .  

 This applies as a life lesson (thats the beauty of fashion! its an education that never stops) Be someone born out of movement. Don't stand still and let The little things pass you by. If you aim for the moon and miss, at least you'd be amongst stars :D

Some people may argue that the collab lines H&M churns out may debase/derail the label's manifesto. I disagree.  H&M epitomizes versatility and never does anything derivative.  IF everyone tried to be different,how would we ever unite the masses? I could say a plethora of facts that can describe the brand and its collab line with H&M but I'm going to keep this post focused on educating You; my readers, about who MMM is. I believe H&M has enough coverage already. Everyone knows H&M enough to predict its next move. The only issue left to debate over is what Your next move is. If you're a Singaporean , what does this increased exposure to avant garde labels mean for our local fashion ardents. Since we can't force trend. all we can do is nurture it. The future of Singaporean fashion is here, and looks amazing. 

Thank you .

You can follow me on twitter Where I mostly tweet fashion trivia and news at @samybonbon . This post is by far my Magnum Opus.  I want to thank everyone whose read this article and I hope to do more of such pieces soon. Maybe I'll type out my own adaptation of Alber Elbaz's life or Nicholas Ghesquiere ?

Interesting style belongs to those who use interesting elements - Christophe Lemaire ( NOW creative director of Hermes) 

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