Season Coverage

A name synonymous with groundbreaking innovation and anonymity, Martin Margiela continued to push the envelope of fashion with his 1996 S/S collection. At first glance this show seems to feature a variety of different patterns and textiles, however if given a closer look it is apparent that Margiela has fooled the viewer. Nearly every garment that appears to have a certain texture or pattern has had that particular aspect screen printed on to it. This can be seen in looks where the garment appears to have fur or when a dress appears to have multiple pleats and creases. Margiela made use of a visual art technique known as troupe l’oeil, translated as trick of the eye, to make viewers perceive the garment to be more than it is. Continuing his house’s theme of the use of vintage garments, Margiela took various garments of which he derived inspiration from, and quite literally just screen printed the vintage garments onto his current pieces. This could be perceived as a case of tasteless plagiarism however Margiela intended this in order to convey the nature of copying in fashion. Margiela’s use of screen printing not only showed the mimicry within the fashion industry, but also conveyed a theme of how garments of the past can come a new due to technology. This theme is apparent as Margiela is one of the earliest to introduce screen printed garments into high fashion as the technique wasn't considered runway worthy at the time.

Written by Bashi Smith


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