odds + ends

Born and raised in Istanbul, Merve is currently residing in downtown Manhattan and completing her undergrad degree at Parsons, where she studies design and management with a focus on fashion communications. Prior to moving to New York, she was lucky enough to spend 2 years in Paris.

"odds + ends" is a visual and verbal diary through which Merve will be exploring fashion or things that are fashion-related. You are most likely to read about conceptual fashion and see stuff that she finds inspirational.

Email her at oddsends.blog@gmail.com

Maison Martin Margiela, Conceptual Fashion and Politics

To me, Martin Margiela is an artist/artisan; one that involves politics in his artwork.  His designs don’t solely carry an aesthetic concern–they are far beyond the standards of aesthetics, as his garments are often unfinished and deconstructed.  Why his designs don’t conform to the conventional notions aesthetics is possibly because that unfinished state of garments doesn’t look as glamorous.  On the other hand, his designs and design house have almost a political stance as they oppose to the consumerist and capitalist society of today. 

The full name of the design house explains the where they stand in relation to political ideologies:  MaisonMartin Margiela.  The Maison is the collective name chosen to highlight the work of the group rather than that of one designer.  External communications using the word “we” rather than “I.[1] Margiela never gives an interview to the media in person and always answers to the interview questions in the first person plural as opposed to “I”[3] ,which examplifies democracy within the “Maison”. 

Democracy within the Maison can be examined within the boundaries of the Marxist view.  As Margiela not only credits himself but every member involved in the Maison, it can be said that he minimizes the alienation of labor embedded in the garment.  Another aspect that is within the framework of the Marxist standpoint is the use of second hand materials in his garments.  He slows down the fashion cycle and does as to protest against the society­– driven by consumerism and capitalism– again.  […] Marx’s analysis and its subsequent glosses and interpretations, suggested that industrialization inevitably traumatized, alienated and split subject, which was made into an object by the process of commodity fetishism.  For Marx, Lukács and Benjamin alienation was the consequence of modern industrial processes.[2]  Margiela’s manifestation in relation to Marxism becomes visible and clear through his fashion that is defined as conceptual.

[1]  Caroline Evans, Fashion at the Edge, 2009 (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2003).

[1] Maison Martin Margiela, “Glossary” in Maison Martin Margiela, 360 (New York: Rizzoli, 2009).

[3]  The Cut Blog, “Is Martin Margiela Over the Anti-Fame Thing?,” New York Magazine, 03 18, 2008.

Celine Maison Martin Margiela

Celine heels reminding me of those by Margiela.

Picks from Maison Martin Margiela’s Pre-Fall 2011 collection:

The cuts seem less geometric to me.  What do you think?