After a controversial sale we did in Paris last year, we have, apparently, become the go-to people for vintage Margiela. At this point, I have Margiela fatigue. I’m so intimately familiar with most of his work, the methods and the meanings, that it’s like I met my idol and the magic has gone. That’s why a Margiela retrospective (“Margiela / Galliera, 1989-2009,” on view through July 13th at Paris’ Palais Galliera) sounded like a busman’s holiday.
But this happened instead: I let go of the story of Margiela and saw a collection of clothes I wanted to wear, as though they had just been shown for the first time at Paris Fashion Week. That may be because every item on display at the Palais Galliera has inspired every designer at some stage in his or her career. And each piece has obviously been interpreted in some other guise or homage, depending on which side of the Diet Prada fence of shaming you sit. Everything Martin designed and featured in the exhibit still feels new because no other designer can recreate the visceral nuances of his originals. Not all oversized and inside-out jackets are created equal.