Margiela / Galliera – the exhibition of the designer without a face

The fashion creator without a face – that is the most common statement about Martin Margiela. The white fan, as I am. Or, as the other fashion lovers could say, the designer that deconstructed the clothes and reconstructed them in amazing shapes. This spring, in Paris, we could trace the most important points in his career, as well as his most innovative pieces, at Palais Galliera, in Margiela / Galliera – the exhibition. (Photo up – Martin Margiela, vest, spring-summer 1990, lacerated and glued advertising posters, white cotton inner lining © Françoise Cochennec / Galliera / Roger-Viollet)

The exhibition Margiela / Galliera will be on display from March 3rd to July 15th, 2018, at Palais Galliera (
In the exhibition we could find more than 130 silhouettes, videos of défilés, House archives and special installations.

Margiela’s conceptual approach challenged the fashion aesthetics of his time. His way of constructing a garment involved deconstructing it, exposing the inside, the lining, and the unfinished parts, and revealing the different stages of manufacture. This exhibition, the first retrospective in Paris devoted to Belgian fashion designer Martin Margiela, traces the career, from spring-summer 1989 to spring-summer 2009.

expo galliera margiela

Martin Margiela, waistcoat, fall-winter 1989-1990, 47 porcelain and earthenware splinters, silver metal wire and blackened metal wire © Julien Vidal / Galliera / Roger-Viollet // Martin Margiela, narrow suit jacket, fall-winter 1989-1990, wool sheet © Julien Vidal / Galliera / Roger-Viollet

galliera exhibition maison martin margiela

Martin Margiela, large cape coat, fall-winter 1991-1992, wool and polyamide cloth © Julien Vidal / Galliera / Roger-Viollet // Martin Margiela, pair of sleeves-gloves held by safety-pins, fall-winter 1993-1994, permanently-wrinkled lambswool © Julien Vidal / Galliera / Roger-Viollet

Martin Margiela (b. Louvain, 1957) graduated from the fashion department of the Royal Academy of Fine Arts, Antwerp, in 1980. After he was Jean Paul Gaultier’s assistant between 1984 and 1987, he became the only Belgian designer of his generation to found his own fashion house in Paris.

Margiela remains the creator without a face, the man who does not do interviews. This man who promotes anonymity is famous, not only for his use of white, a colour that he espoused in a multitude of shades, but also for holding his défilés in unusual venues.

maison martin margiela exhibition

Martin Margiela, galvanized shirt collar, spring-summer 2003, cotton poplin covered with galvanized steel © Françoise Cochennec / Galliera / Roger-Viollet // Martin Margiela, top made of upside down wigs, fall-winter 2005-2006, synthetic hair, putty colored leather © Julien Vidal / Galliera / Roger-Viollet

maison martin margiela exhibition galliera

Martin Margiela, Tabi soles, spring-summer 1996, Black leather © Françoise Cochennec / Galliera / Roger-Viollet // Martin Margiela, pair of tabi boots with graffiti, 1991, white leather, white cotton fabric, black and blue marker © Françoise Cochennec / Galliera / Roger-Viollet

martin margiela exhibition galliera

Martin Margiela, “Incognito” glasses, spring-summer 2008, black plastic © Julien Vidal / Galliera / Roger-Viollet // Martin Margiela, poster worn as a dress, spring-summer 2009, printed silk satin © Françoise Cochennec / Galliera / Roger-Viollet

Photography: Palais Galliera (


The photographer Sonia Sieff: “Nudity is the nicest piece of clothing.”