Martin Margiela is the most famous man in fashion who no one knows — well, no one knows his face at least. But for those who are true Margiela fans, they sure as hell know his clothes. Take Marcia Berger for example, a woman who was so obsessed with the mysterious designer that she collected approximately 1,000 pieces from his collections throughout her life. And we’re not talking just any old pieces. According to Mark Haddawy of vintage retailer Resurrection, Berger’s stash of Margiela includes some of the most iconic and one-of-a-kind pieces including jewelry made from soda tabs and a military sock sweater made back in ’91.
Berger’s secret Margiela stash was discovered when she passed away in 2008 — all sitting untouched in garment bags with tags attached.
“It’s hard to imagine there is another collection of Margiela like this in the world,” Haddawy mused to WWD. Perhaps this is just the reason why 1stdibs.com and Resurrection are teaming up to put the incredible collection on display for all the rest of the Margiela fanatics out there — and they’re hoping the man shrouded in mystery will make an appearance himself. Although, whether he shows or not, one may never know.
The installment of 350 key Margiela pieces, entitled “Resurrection’s 20 Years of Martin Margiela (1989-2008): The Marcia Berger Collection” will kick off with a party February 12, followed by a temporary exhibition held at One Jackson Square. As rumors have been swirling over the last year that Margiela may or may not have retired from his designing helm, here’s a look back at some of the designer’s most iconic and memorable looks throughout his career thus far:
Spring 2006, Fall 2006:
Not to be outdone, Margiela wheeled all his models out on trolleys for his spring 2006 show, recreating a construction-like site for fashionistas. The clothes followed along with the deconstructed theme with looks that were incomplete on only side, like this pair of white trousers. For his fall 2006 collection (right), Margiela took inspiration from sofa covers, car seats, and other everyday objects, like this telephone cord, reinterpreted into a belt.
Margiela fans saw a stars and stripes theme make its way down the runway in spring 2007. While not the kind of pieces you’d wear to your average party (except for a 4th of July fete perhaps), these looks were still some of the more toned-down looks of past Margiela collections.
If you thought bold shoulders were a genius reintroduction of a past trend brought back by designers just this past year, think again. Known for designs that are well ahead of the time, Margiela put exaggerated shoulders on the map back in fall of 2007. While his show may have left us with a looming question mark back then, we’d love to snag these pieces that are on trend for the current season.
Margiela showcased another set of strong shoulders for his spring ’08 runway collection, adding black blindfolds to each ensemble — perhaps a nod to his own mysterious persona? The white thigh-high boots are another example of the designer’s knack for predicting what will be the it-item seasons down the road.
Fall 2008, Spring 2009:
In his not-so-wearable aesthetic, Margiela created over-the-ear dresses and knits in fall of 2008 that demonstrated his uber-cool way of marching to his own beat. For spring 2009, the designer went with a nude theme, shrouding each model in tan bodysuits that even covered their faces. Could they breathe? Who knows. But as long as they looked cool –which they did — we guess it doesn’t matter.
Fall 2009, Spring 2010:
Around the fall 2009 season, rumors began swirling that the invisible designer had possibly left the fashion house for good — but no one could truly tell, as he had never been at any show to take his final bow in the first place. While die-hard Margiela fans didn’t die over this collection, this black bodysuit still showcased some of the designer’s signature style. For the fashion house’s spring ’10 show, we saw a bit less of Margiela’s forward-thinking designs — after all, everyone and anyone showed a set of thigh-highs in their recent collection — but this look is decidedly still one we’d like to try ourselves.