Martin Margiela Documentary, 'The Artist is Absent,' Now Available To Stream Online, But We Still Won't Be Seeing His Face
"Martin Margiela is different from the others because he never compromised his point of view," says fashion historian Olivier Saillard in the opening scene of the Martin Margiela documentary, The Artist is Absent which is now available to stream online.
The documentary's trailer came out a week ago, but lucky for you, you can now watch the 12-minute documentary online. Ironically, the Belgian designer is most known for being unknown, never posing for photos and staying behind the scenes during his runway shows. Although I was hoping for just even the slightest glimpse of the visionary himself, the documentary purely focuses on his masterpieces. And that's just how he wants it.
The Artist is Absent was directed by Alison Chernick, and is fascinating in its analysis of Margiela's dedication to showing how he perceived fashion and the world around him. Saillard says "he established a vision. And concentrated on reconfiguring an entire system of fashion. He didn't only introduce new clothes, he commented on the system which was by then already very perverted and dominated with money."
And with that, we are brought through Margiela's journey from the '90s into the 2000s. Suzy Menkes, Jean Paul Gaultier, and former director of communications of Maison Martin Margiela all make an appearance, with Gaultier claiming, "I wasn't his teacher, because he didn't need a teacher."
Oh, and let's not graze over the insane fashion in the mini-doc. From see-through plastic belted coats, to intricately draped cloth knotted together into a top, to the notorious silk face masks intended to create clothes void of a model's persona, Margiela's pieces never fail to give us some serious fashion eye candy.
A fascinating look behind the man, the myth (basically), and the legend, the documentary also shows some of the designer's sketches, along with footage of shows from his early days. While short, the film still gives us a peek into Martin's brilliance through the eyes of industry experts.