September 28th 2003, the Museum of Modern Art in the 16th Arrondissement of Paris closed its doors to carry out large-scale renovation work. This closure, due to last more than one year, allows its rooms to host the Martin Margiela presentation just days later. The starkness of the four large rooms used for the show is accentuated by the removal of all art pieces. The invited public enter the museum via a little used graffiti entrance on the Avenue de New York running along the right bank of the Seine. Eighteen specially constructed black podiums and a large spotlight on a tripod trained on each are the only structures to be found throughout the spaces. A large black panel rises at the back of each podium; black steps lead up at their front. Red wine is served as at every Martin Margiela show and the invited public mingle freely awaiting the show. 27 women each present one outfit of the collection. The eighteen spotlights warm up to cast a turquoise light on each podium as the room lights fall for the show’s start. A soundtrack is made up of the instrumental sections of many disco hits of the past twenty years. 18 women leave the backstage together to mount a podium and stand facing the backdrop. Once the turquoise light changes to white each women turns to present their outfit to the crowd assembled at each podium. After fifteen seconds the light returns to turquoise and the women descend to make their way to the next. They are chaperoned on their way through the crowd by a man dressed in black. One by one the nine women backstage at the beginning of the show enter the room to replenish the circuit of women, passing, as the show proceeds, from podium to podium. The finale of the show takes place when all of the women have presented their outfit on each podium. At this moment the chaperones present all of the women, as they stand on the podiums, with a bouquet of artificial flowers that have been sprayed turquoise.
Outfits are emphasised on their fronts, rich details, bare backs and turquoise as a pre dominant colour with brown, black and different shades of white. Skirts are shorter just under the knee.
Garments fall to the front: The back neckline of the collar is moved forward to the front. Lapels and necklines become longer. Shoulder lines and armholes fall to the front. The front of the garment becomes longer as a result. Skirts fall over at the front by opening the zip at the back.
Garments structured by folds: tubes of viscose fabric folded and stitched on the front to evoke a garment or an outfit. The trompe l’oeil details of a jacket or of a cardigan, created only by folding, give the illusion of a two-piece suit, dress or wrap skirt
Garments cut through the back and worn on the front as a halter-top: Jackets, men’s shirt, knits, jersey tops.
Vintage t-shirts, cardigans and scarves are assembled as outfits and stitched together. These outfits are then cut into so that only their fronts remain and they worn as a halter-top.
Belts are worn entirely on the front of body fixed by cotton ribbon knotted at the back.
Vintage underskirts in ‘broderie anglaise’ are reworked as dresses, tops, tunics and skirts, is made out of several vintage underskirts.
The new version of the Martin Margiela Tabi shoes are cut in a way to cover only toes and heel.
Summer 2004, Martin Margiela