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Sotheby's unveils a collection dedicated to designer Martin Margiela
Martin Margiela, Spring-Summer 1997: A beige canvas « Stockman » jacket with print Estimate: €7,000-9,000 / A light grey denim half-skirt with strap. Estimate: €800-1,100 / A beige knit cardigan with shoulder pads Estimate: €1,000-1,200. Courtesy Sotheby's.


PARIS.- Sotheby's unveiled a collection dedicated to fashion’s most discreet designer Martin Margiela. Considered one of the most atypical couturiers of his generation, he is one of the very few designers to have achieved a radical renewal in the world of contemporary fashion. Nearly 220 items of clothing and accessories from a private collection will, in a single high-profile sale, revisit the most iconic creations of his career from his emergence in 1989 through to 2006.

With an exhibition and an auction to be held online between 19 September and 1 October 2019, Sotheby's will be celebrating the faceless designer who has never given any interview and whose refined white brand label carries no logo. The sale will offer ready-to-wear pieces as well as a wide selection of limited editions from the Artisanal collection.

The radical approach adopted by Margiela involves investigating the construction of garments by deconstructing them. He reveals the reverse of the fabric and its lining. He pushes size to its extremes, from 200% oversized pieces to doll's clothing adapted to human size. He prints trompe-l'oeil dresses, knitwear and coats. He even paints his pieces. He also questions garment obsolescence with his Artisanal collection created from vintage clothing and found objects transformed by the designer into unique, hand-stitched pieces.

Among the most important items offered in this sale, the collection includes the tapered coats created at the beginning of his career for the autumn-winter 1989-1990 collection (estimate from €3,000), and doll's clothing enlarged to human scale from the autumn-winter 1994-1995 collection (estimate: €800-€1,200).

The sale includes highlights from Martin Margiela's most famous collections, including leather pieces from the autumn-winter 1992-1993 Salvation Army collection (estimate from €1,800), and pieces from the photographic prints collection of spring-summer 1996 (estimate from €1,500) that retain the memory of other garments.

The most iconic lots include pieces from the spring-summer 1997 Stockman collection, including the iconic linen jacket (estimate: €7,000-€9,000) and the down coats of autumn-winter 1999-2000 (estimate from €7,000) in both lengths.

The sale will also offer a unique opportunity to acquire one of the 40 limited edition pieces from the Artisanal collection, and particularly a top created from bow ties, only two of which were produced at that time (estimate: €5,000-€7,000) and the legendary men's vest assembled from playing cards, only five of which were ever created (estimate: €8,000-€10,000).

Founded in 1988 by Martin Margiela and Jenny Meirens, the fashion house protects the designer’s very real desire for anonymity, preferring to highlight its teamwork and garments, rather than promoting the star status of its designer. The unique character of this couturier has set him fundamentally apart from the norm in the microcosm that is the designer fashion world. Secretive in the extreme, Martin Margiela pushes discretion to the limit by avoiding any public appearance whatsoever. He has never taken the traditional bow at the end of any of his runway shows. His work was celebrated in three major exhibitions hosted in 2008 and 2018: the first one was for Maison Margiela’s 20th anniversary at the ModeMuseum in Antwerp, and two others, 2018, Margiela, les années Hermès at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs and Margiela / Galliera 1989-2009 at the Palais Galliera





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