Yesterday I read this article in Dazed about Martin Margiela accepting a Belgian Fashion Award through a short letter, expressing his gratitude and stating the reason he stepped down from the eponymous label he created in 2008. As many other designers, the reason was the fast pace of the fashion industry, as well as the rising pressure of social media on his creative imput.
I find this very sad, especially because we are all part of the 'social media pressure' that according to Margiela, 'kills the thrill of wait', and as soon as we hit that like and share button we look for something else, something new, without truly admiring a creation that probably took half of a year to make.
Margiela was known as “the Greta Garbo of fashion” or the invisible man, as he didn't give interviews or sit for portraits, saying that all his attention goes toward his creations. He was also one of fashion's leading deconstructionists, as the French call it 'La Mode Destory.' Working with unconventional materials, Martin Margiela shocked the world with his hits such as patch-worked tops from vintage leather gloves, cleft-toe boots and jewellery made of coloured ice, dyeing the clothes as it melted. He found inspiration everywhere, from furniture to plastic bags and seemed like having fun taking items apart only to put them back together on the catwalk.
Today, Margiela is not an outsider of the fashion world, he is now the inspiration of many new, emerging and successful designers such as Demna Gvasalia, currently the creative director of Balenciaga and head designer of Vetements. Following Margiela's footsteps, the new creative director of the brand is John Galliano, who brings a soft sensitivity to the collections. Also, today we canconfirm Marc Jacob's statement from 2008: 'Anybody who's aware of what life is in a contemporary world is influenced by Margiela.'
Read Margiela's full letter below
“I am very touched and indeed honoured to receive this award, here in my native country.
Especially because I stepped down from fashion already ten years ago.
This evening, my memory goes back to 1983 when I received, here in Brussels, my very first recognition: the second prize of the ‘Golden Spindle’ contest, handed to me by the then only foreign jury member, Jean Paul Gaultier.
Many say that fashion has a short memory as it is obsessed by actuality and novelty. But some recent exhibitions about my work exemplified the opposite. Again, my homeland Belgium was the first to honour my work at the MOMU Antwerp, and then my adoptive city Paris followed with two more, at Palais Galliera and Musée des Arts Décoratifs.
A beautiful tribute to a period of hard work and dedication starting at early age and lasting for more than 30 years, until 2008 – the very year I felt that I could not cope any more with the worldwide increasing pressure and the overgrowing demands of trade. I also regretted the overdose of information carried by social media, destroying the ‘thrill of wait’ and cancelling every effect of surprise, so fundamental for me.
But today, I am happy to notice again a growing interest for creativity in fashion, by some upcoming designers.
This evening, I feel proud and fulfilled and I wish to thank wholeheartedly all of you for your precious support back then and today's recognition.”