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MARTIN by HUGH: A Curated Exhibition of Martin Margiela's Archive

29 March 2022

MARTIN by HUGH: A Curated Exhibition of Martin Margiela's Archive

Last Friday evening in a loft atop Collingwood's Gertrude street, we were invited into Martin Margiela’s world for a moment by Hugh Barton, collector and curator of vintage designer pieces and a well-admired member of the vintage fashion community here in Melbourne. 

Upon entering the exhibition, champagne and lively guests filled the minimal, yet chaotic space At The Above as decibels of excited Margiela fans permeated the room. Each of us were guided intuitively to view the installation in order from left, down, and around the room’s bend until we came to a halt where a stack of old televisions sat, in true Margiela style, broadcasting runway looks from years ‘89 to ‘08. 

The collection of archival pieces Barton curated was sourced entirely from local Margiela enthusiasts and collectors from across Melbourne. Featuring over 40 archival runway pieces, the display spanned many rare and perfectly kept looks from garments to shoes, objects and accessories.

Highly considered and digestible only when looked upon close, each piece was suspended from the ceiling in order of year and collection. A detail of note was the transparent garment bags, with MARTIN written at the base of each, with a nod to Margiela’s signature font. 

Belgian designer Martin Margiela (born 1957) is arguably one of the most subversive experimental designers of the late 1980s to present. Despite leaving his namesake in early 2009, his works continue to challenge normative practices of design, through his consistent legacy of repurposing reclaimed objects and garments – a future-focused take in the face of fashion’s pervasive need to renew itself.

Screenings of ‘In His Own Words’ documentary film to accompany will be held on Saturday, 2nd of April. Link here

The exhibition will run until the 3rd of April at At The Above.

Images Courtesy of Geoffrey Haining.

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