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Martin Margiela: In His Own Words review – portrait of the couture Banksy

martin-margiela:-in-his-own-words-review-–-portrait-of-the-couture-banksy

This documentary about the enigmatic Belgian who became disenchanted with the sexification of fashion design is uncritical but refreshingly serious

Martin Margiela is the Belgian-born avant-garde fashion designer sometimes described as the couture Banksy, because he has never publicly shown his face for the photographers. Or maybe it is truer to say that he is the Terrence Malick of fashion, because there are, in fact, one or two photographs of him (though unverified), and this documentary loyally declines to show them, or even ask the always off-camera Margiela if they are genuine.

After what appears to have been a happy childhood, which Margiela recalls with a Proustian emphasis on the importance of his grandmother, he went into fashion and gained a devoted following for his theatrical happenings-slash-shows in Paris. These presented challenging creations, often repurposing and recreating existing garments, almost like the art world’s objets trouvés.

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