Margiela Show Notes

Posted by Erin
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Show notes, the pieces of paper or little folders that are lying on your seat when you arrive at a fashion show, are not a uniform thing. For me, someone who used to make her living reviewing shows, they were usually quite useful, sometimes even saving me a trip backstage for a quick interview with the designer. Other times the notes were so abstract, they left me no choice but to go back for a proper explanation in layman’s terms.

Show notes will sometimes give you details about fabrics (sometimes not), tell you what influenced the designer that season (or maybe not), who styled the show (usually not), with special thank-yous to whoever did the hair and makeup, etc.

But never have show notes been as clever and straightforward as they were at Maison Martin Margiela’s recent 2014 couture show. With details about the provenance of the vintage materials that were transformed to make each piece, the hours it took to make each piece and the artist who designed the fabric prints he often re-used, the Maison raised the show notes bar to a whole new - well, frankly, noteworthy - level.

Below, we dive in deeper to Margiela’s show notes reprinting them with their corresponding looks in order to show you, firsthand, the amount of time and extraordinary detail that went into each piece...


PASSAGE #1. ROBE DE JOUR: Application of Mariano Fortuny fabric scraps (c.1910 - c.1950) onto a white T-shirt. Production time: 22 hours / Mariano Fortuny scraps sourced in New York, USA – private collection, cotton twill with stencilled motif, cotton jersey.


PASSAGE #3. ROBE BUSTIER: Draping in two variations of “design 706” fabric by Frank Lloyd Wright edited by Schumacher – Taliesin line 1956, mounted on a couture corset. Production time: 49 hours / Frank Lloyd Wright Textiles, sourced in Chicago, USA - private collection silkscreened cotton, silk pongé, nylon bristles.


PASSAGE #5. ROBE BUSTIER: Draping from two hanging textile prints of “Mira Lunar” designed by Verner Panton and edited by Mira-X International in 1979; mounted on a couture corset. Production time: 42 hours / Verner Panton textiles sourced in New York, USA - private collection, printed cotton, silk pongé, nylon bristles.


PASSAGE #7. TAILLEUR PANTALON: Suit cut in a variation of “Les violons” fabric by Raoul Dufy, edited by Bianchini Ferrier. Production time: 58 hours for the jacket and 19 hours for the trousers / Printed cotton from Lyon, France, silk pongé.


PASSAGE #9. ENSEMBLE: “Buste stockman” blouse made from an assemblage of “Pin-up tattoo” embroidery designed by Sailor Jerry for Rum (c.1950). Pencil skirt made of two handpainted silk scarves once used as décor in a maison close (c.1930 - c.1940). Production time: 57 hours for the blouse and 27 hours for the skirt / Rum labels sourced in Illinois, USA, handpainted silk sourced in Paris, France – private collection, silk satin, mixed needle embroidery: glass beads, half and whole glass tubes and half-tubes, crystals, and silk, cotton, and metallic threads.


PASSAGE #11. MANTEAU: Peacoat cut from a thick tapestry based on “La femme du roi” by Paul Gauguin (1896) produced by the Ateliers Raymond Picaud – Aubusson (c.1950). Production time: 102 hours / Needle woven wool tapestry, sourced at L’Isle-sur-la-Sorgue, France, metal twill.


PASSAGE #13. ENSEMBLE: “Buste stockman” corset embroidered with small found objects, worn with men’s trousers embroidered with sequins. Production time: 67 hours / Silk organdy, silk pongé, sequins, small objects found in flea markets in Paris and Brussels.


PASSAGE # 15. ENSEMBLE: Négligée by the Soeurs Callot (c.1915 - c.1920) and skirt cut from the tapestry “Le Remailleur de filet” by Robert Debieve, produced by Corot (c.1950). Production time: 21 hours for the skirt / Tapestry sourced in Paris, France, négligée by the Soeurs Callot sourced in Brussels, Belgium – private collection, silkscreened cotton twill, jacquard in silk and gold thread.


PASSAGE # 17. MANTEAU: Peacoat cut from an assemblage of aluminium balloons held together by satin baguettes, worn with men’s trousers embroidered with sequins. Production time: 105 hours / Duchesse satin, silk organdy, silk pongé, sequins, printed sheets of aluminium.


PASSAGE # 19. PARDESSUS: “Opéra” coat cut from a Bauhaus tapestry produced in Dessau, Germany (c.1920). Production time: 110 hours / Tapestry sourced in New York, USA, wool on cotton twill, metal twill.


PASSAGE # 21. ROBE DU SOIR: Bustier dress cut from the tapestry “Le coq” by Jean Lurçat, edited by Corot (c.1955). Production time: 47 hours / Tapestry sourced in Brussels, Belgium, silkscreened cotton twill, silk satin.


PASSAGE # 23. ROBE COLONNE: Bustier dress, draped in silk satin. Embroidered “Clin d’oeil” evening gloves. Production time: 27 hours for the dress and 18 hours for the gloves / Silk satin, mixed embroidery: mirror, rhinestones, stones, ceramic, metal discs, glass tube beads. 

FABRICATION ET RESTAURATION: The veils over the models’ faces are embroidered in our Paris atelier and made of silk organdy, mixed needle embroidery of glass beads, tubes and half-tubes, crystals, and silk, cotton and metal threads. The wigs are made using embroidery and small found objects. The embroideries of small found objects are done by hand and are made of rings, chains, metal beads, cabochons, rounds made from tin cans, glass beads, half and whole glass tubes, crystals, silk, cotton and metallic threads and keys. The ‘Tabi’ ankle boots are made in metal twill. Pre-Columbian art jewellery loaned from a private collection, Antwerp, Belgium.


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