This time next week Somerset House will be almost ready to open the doors to the London leg of Maison Martin Margiela international touring exhibition, Maison Martin Margiela '20' The Exhibition. It's an exciting time, the exhibition has been very well received at the MoMu, Antwerp and Haus der Kunst, Munich. London is in for a bit of a treat, the exhibition has been specially reconfigured for Somerset House. '20' is a showcase exhibition conceived in close collaboration with Maison Martin Margiela, curated by the Mode Museum, Antwerp its a celebration, 20 years of Margiela artistic and conceptual approach to fashion.
From his wonder years, his work as a graduate of Antwerp's Royal Academy of Fine Arts, his time spent assisting Jean Paul Gaultier, and showing his first collection under his own label in 1988. His ‘deconstructivist’ approach, monochromatic palette, out sized garments, non-traditional fabrics, the use of recycled materials and exposing the construction of his clothes. Driven by product and sheer invention rather than fad, hype and celebrity. Margiela's radically new visual language diametrically opposed the power dressing of the 1980s.
This multi-layered exhibition captures Margiela’s unique aesthetic and vision spanning the past 20 years, by incorporating installations, photography, video and film. Offering an opportunity to learn more about the brand and its philosophy through a visual examination of themes that underpin the essence of the fashion house since its creation - from its deconstructivist, subversive design aesthetic and avant-garde couture to its understated branding, unusual boutique interiors and ‘trompe-l’oeil’ or optical illusion and its couture atelier white coats. Various iconic pieces from both the women and menswear collections will be on display, such as the highly replicated ‘Tabi’ boots, as well as specially recreated garments for the exhibition.
Somerset House Director, Gwyn Miles says “we are delighted to be bringing Maison Martin Margiela’s major retrospective to Somerset House. This forms part of our aim to host an exciting year round programme of contemporary cultural exhibitions and events that reflects current trends in the creative industries, particularly in fashion and design. I hope this exhibition stimulates debate and ideas, and will go some way in establishing Somerset House as a genuine creative hub for London”.
MAISON MARTIN MARGIELA ‘20’ THE EXHIBITION
Somerset House, London
3 June – 5 September 2010