Bonjour Paris! During my four days spent galavanting the streets of Paris, I visited numerous museums, monuments and other notable spots. However, my favorite spot was Palais Galliera, which is a fashion and fashion history museum. Currently, the exhibit consists of a tribute to the ever-creative Martin Margiela and his various clothing lines.
Margiela, a man of Belgian descent, attended the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp and then worked as Jean Paul Gaultier’s assistant from 1984 to 1987. According to Palais Galliera’s information website, “Margiela’s conceptual approach challenged the fashion aesthetics of his time. His way of constructing a garment involved deconstructing it, exposing the inside, the lining, and the unfinished parts, and revealing the different stages of manufacture: pleats, shoulder pads, patterns, bastings and all. He pushed the scale of a garment to extremes, enlarging the proportions to 200% in his “Oversize Collection”, for example, or by adapting dolls’ clothes to the life-size human form in the “Barbie Collection”. He printed trompe-l’oeil photos of dresses, sweaters and coats and established a new form of “cloven” shoe inspired by traditional Japanese tabis, i.e. with the big toe separated from the others.”
Although I was familiar with Margiela’s clothing and aesthetic prior to my visit, I was amazed to see the clothing in-person and be able to analysis the minute details. Personally, I find it incredible that Margiela was able to design in such a unique, peculiar way and receive notability for that type of eccentricity. It seems as though attending a Margiela fashion show in Paris in the 1990’s and early 2000’s was not merely an event to display garments. Rather, it was an experience that married art, fashion, political occurrences, current events, human rights and forward-hiking ideas under one roof.
If you ever find yourself in Paris, be sure to make a stop at the Palais Galliera!