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Margiela is best known for his deconstructive clothing, where the marks of his craft - the stitches and seams - are revealed rather than concealed. In being so they display a physical sense of the designer in the construction of the garment and in particular the mark of Margiela's own hand animated on the body.

The spirit of this approach may be seen in the presentation of the A/W 1998-99 collection produced with artist Mark Bothwick and stylist Jane How. How commissioned ten life-size wooden puppets to be dressed in garments from the collection before their animation, by puppeteers, down a staged catwalk. The use of the marionettes in the presentation of the clothes was intimately linked to their construction ; the clothes, predominantly T-shirt dresses, had been folded and then heat-bonded to polythene vinyl so that when put on, the neckline and natural fall of the T-shirt material were displaced.

Seeing the collection photographically documented in the pages of a catwalk report magazine such as L'Official, it purposefully jars with the presentation of the human fashion model as the adeal figure striking a pose at the end of the runway.


-Radical Fashion, Claire Wilcox-

© Hayoung So, all rights reserved