Four white diagonal stitches, completing a hollow square; this ambiguous anti-label has become the iconic mark of¬†Maison Martin Margiela, the “faceless” brand.
Since launching in 1988, the label has inspired an architectural up-cycling approach to fashion, where classic silhouettes are torn, deconstructed and re-sewn with a continuing hanging sense of anonymity. Martin Margiela, who left the brand in 2009, was a mysterious character, rarely photographed or interviewed. The current design team remain equally incognito, with an cryptic question mark hanging over their identity.
Margiela adopts a similar concept taken by architecture, where the sole purpose is to protect and shelter
In recent seasons, the brand has adopted various faces: the bejeweled crystal masks of A/W12 couture or the recent S/S13 couture candy-wrapper guises. S/S11 offered hair-swept hidden faces, while for their 20th Anniversary S/S09 collection models were de-faced by stockings and wigs.
Margiela adopts a similar concept taken by architecture, where the sole purpose is to protect and shelter. Referencing the Trompe-l‚Äôoeil and surrealist painters of the past, the brand defines itself by objects and shapes as opposed to a person or a word.
Maison Martin Margiela A/W13¬†Illustrations by Maria Loks