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Otomo Katsuhiro for Comme des Garçons

November 1, 2019 15:45

We’ve already mentioned Rei Kawakubos impact on the society with innovative and creative projects coming up and in the past. As you might have noticed, an impact of an artist always evolves with a collaboration that is well thought through for example there was the slightly more left-field collaborations you wouldn’t see coming, such as James Jean creating concepts and illustrations for Prada products.

One of the most exciting collaborations especially for comic and Anime fans was the collaboration between Akira artist Otomo Katushiro and Comme des Garçons, which probably falls somewhere in between on that scale of influence and weirdness.

Sam Arthur Co-Founder of Noborw announced :

„Comme des Garcons approached us to ask if they could do a kind of mash-up of some of the work from our early editions of Nobrow magazine with the work of Otomo. We cleared it with the artists CDG requested to use the images of and gave it our blessing. It seemed like a good opportunity to feature in a creative project with a very interesting iconic fashion brand, so we went for it!

All of our artists that have been involved have been really pleased with the results (they were given sign off approval on all of the work).“

But where is the collection with these crazy prints of these collages ?

Well, at the beginning of each season, Comme des Garcons published a mini catalogue for their mail order clients which features the work of a particular artist, with around 40 separate pamphlets produced over the duration of the year. The idea is when these are put together they create and read as a book on their own.The SS13 catalogue depicts Otomo’s charcters Shōtarō Kaneda and Kei on the cover in a image familiar to comic fans. Designed by CDG founder Rei Kawakubo herself, the publication showcases Otomo’s Akira artwork in a series of collages put together and coloured by Rei. Lateron they’ve been some special pieces produced such as the rare Totebags you’ve probably spotted on grailed. 

No items found.

The employees in the boutiques, in the design studio and in the backstage area at fashion shows wear white lab coats, as was common in the ateliers of the great couturiers, e.g. Christian Dior, and is still common today. The fashion shows for the high-priced fashion sometimes took place in the context of the Paris Prêt-à-porter shows in unconventional locations, up to shabby surroundings (construction site, metro station, dining room of the Salvation Army etc.). The boutiques are kept in plain white and gray. Margiela originally selected unspectacular locations such as a residential area in Tokyo and did not publish the addresses of the boutiques in order to require the customer to make an effort to find the store at all. The first Margiela store opened in Tokyo in 2000 and the first European boutique was inaugurated in Brussels in 2002. In 2008, a boutique opened in a basement on the edge of Munich's Maximilianstrasse. This was followed by participation in numerous exhibitions, including "Radical Fashion", which was shown in 2001 at the V&A Museum in London. In 2010 there were 36 own stores worldwide.  In 2015 there were over 50 stores worldwide, including boutiques, that only carry the MM6 collection.

The company followed a very restrictive communication policy. The designer can neither be photographed nor interviewed. Only his creations should speak for themselves and the designs should be perceived as the overall performance of the team. That's why the team always shows up in white doctor's coats after the fashion shows - nobody should stand out.

By recycling old fashion, separating, recoloring, reversing seams and zippers, both the origin and the artificial of the art of tailoring are shown. Margiela puts together what doesn't belong together: by hand, jeans turn into skirts, old army socks become pullovers. Baptized by the press as deconstructivism, this current is defined by an abrupt collision of different materials, which at first glance appear inharmonic in the sense of conventional viewing habits. Margiela herself rejects the term "deconstructivism". He resurrected clothes in a new form, he told ELLE in 1991.

Margiela was the unofficial 7th member of "Antwerp 6", a generation of fashion designers who all completed their training at the Royal Academy of Arts between 1980-1981 and shaped the "style of the Belgians". However, it does not belong to the actual group, but it became known in a similar period.

The Japanese "Street Magazine" dedicated two special editions to "Maison Martin Margiela", which were published in book form in 1999. Nicolas Ghesquière (Balenciaga) is a big fan of Maison Martin Margiela.

In July 2014, fashion critic Suzy Menkes exposed Matthieu Blazy via Instagram as Head of Design, after which he deleted his Instagram account and changed his profile in a career network. He left the company on October 1, 2014.

To this day, Margiela pieces, especially in the fashion industry and all fashion lovers, belong to the sanctuaries in every repertoire and archive. Getting vintage pieces from other designers may be possible, but Maison Martin Marginal Archives are a real hunt and that says it all about this art.