Redefining Fashion with the Mysterious Martin Margiela

Redefining Fashion with the Mysterious Martin Margiela

From 3–9 March Sotheby's will auction the second part of a collection dedicated to fashion’s most discreet designer. Nearly 200 items of clothing and accessories from a private collection will, in a high-profile sale, revisit the most iconic creations of Martin Margiela 's career from his emergence in 1989 through to 2006. The sale will offer ready-to-wear pieces as well as a wide selection of limited editions from the Artisanal collection.


M artin Margiela is considered one of the most extraordinary couturiers of his generation. New York Magazine said of his radical and exploratory designs that it was as if “Marcel Duchamp were reincarnated as a fashion designer”, and he is widely regarded as having reset the rules of fashion, ushering a new era of style as the world moved into a postmodern phase during the 1990s. On top of his ability comes his mystique: he has never given an interview, remains backstage during his shows, and even his brand is a discreet white label.

The radical approach adopted by Margiela involved investigating the construction of garments by deconstructing them. He would reveal the reverse of the fabric and its lining and push size to its extremes, from 200% oversized pieces to dolls’ clothing adapted to human size. He printed trompe-l'oeil dresses, knitwear and coats. He even painted his pieces. He questions garment obsolescence with his Artisanal collection created from vintage clothing and found objects transformed by the designer into unique, hand-stitched pieces.

Among the most important items offered in this sale are his upcycling creation made at the beginning of his career for the Spring-Summer 1992 collection: A pinafore skirt made of vintage ivory and light pink scarves with flowers.

Included are highlights from Margiela's most famous collections: ten pieces from the Spring Summer 1998 collection including a grey polyester flat jacket with armholes displaced to the front and a white flat denim with legs entirely zipped made of vintage denim jeans, and twelve pieces from the Fall-Winter 2003-2004 collection including a fake fur coat with exposed lining and three-belt necklace-belt in black PVC.

Among the most iconic lots are the pieces from the Fall-Winter 2004-2005 collection, including a shoulder strap long dress with red hair print worn with light colored fur necklace.

The sale will also offer a unique opportunity to acquire one of the 39 pieces from the Artisanal collection such as the Fall-Winter 2005/06 cotton top made of vintage tee-shirts with embroidered “American steel” logo or the Fall-Winter 2003/04 long-sleeved top made in a black and navy wool trousers.

Luxury Collectibles
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