Martin Margiela Teases 'The Artist Absent' Documentary, And It Looks Amazing

Models present creations for Maison Martin Margiela during the 2014/2015 Haute Couture Fall-Winter collection fashion show on July 9, 2014 in Paris. AFP PHOTO / PATRICK KOVARIK (Photo credit should read PATRICK KOVARIK/AFP/Getty Images)
Source: PATRICK KOVARIK/AFP/Getty Images

Forget Jeremy Scott and Giles Deacon; Martin Margiela has a far more colorful history, and now the designer's story will be shared with the world in the form of one very intriguing film, Style.com reports. Entitled The Artist Is Absent, the Martin Margiela documentary is a mere 12 minutes, but the brief film is packed with stunning visuals from the designer's body of work and interviews with fashion industry doyens. Created by Alison Chernick and first introduced at the Tribeca Film Festival, the work manages to delve into the impetus behind Margiela's creations as well as the legacy the designer has left. 

After serving as an apprentice to Jean Paul Gaultier, Margiela launched his career by creating the Martin Margiela label in 1988. In the words of Geert Bruloot, one of the film's chosen fashion authorities, the brand is "based on deconstructed and reconstructed fashion," in essence imbuing staples with new life by creating sartorial mashups. 

The waist and zipper of a pair of denim trousers were paired with a floor-grazing skirt or contrasting wool pants; a pair of straight-leg trousers was spirited down the runway by a model not sporting a top; and boxy, oversized, menswear-style blazers were paired with silken blouses for maximum impact. 

Experimentation was a hallmark of Margiela's designs, which he later brought to Hermes and, in 2009, left to his subordinates after whispers of conflict with Martin Margiela's financially-driven owners. The company's recent decision to enlist John Galliano as head creative is further elucidated through the information given in the film; who else could restore the brand's certain je ne sais quoi after years of more straightforward design?

The film offers a shrewd look at exactly what makes Martin Margiela such a bewitching brand — and what set the designer himself apart from the rest. Was it Margiela's deconstruction of designs? Did the designer's early adoption of grunge hit the mark? And were Margiela's daring silhouettes with items of clothing deliberately tossed aside the key to his success?

The film asks and answers these fundamental questions regarding the designer and his renowned line, but don't be surprised if you finish it still hungry to learn more about Margiela and his impressive body of work.

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