Dear Shaded Viewers & Diane,
This past July we said goodbye to Jenny Meirens, Belgian designer Martin Margiela’s genius collaborator, sadly and all too soon. The four stitches will remain as the duo’s signature trimming, but her loss and role within Margiela’s legacy will remain eternally irreparable.
While similar in many ways and both harbor cities, Antwerp and Rotterdam’s cultural affairs differ greatly. It was exactly two decades ago that Rotterdam’s Boijmans Van Beuningen Museum had the distinct privilege of opening its doors to Martin Margiela’s worldwide premiere. Now, Rotterdam based director Menna Laura Meijer (Mint Film Office) is the one who spoke with Jenny Meirens and the original team on various occasions, digging in to the creative energy that formed the global success that is now documented in We Margiela.
But these two weren’t the only ones at the Maison. With the additional presence of Madeleine Berkheimer (atelier and showroom assistant), Grace Fisher (model and showroom assistant), Sophie Pay (commercial manager and Meirens’ daughter) along with my fabulous type of celebrities Axel Keller and Stanislas Maryshev (sales department) a love story was written. Absolute plural for the entire family who focused on the way devotion was involved while all the while developing a new aesthetic form: The Belgian school in Paris. Chasing the system, conceptualizing ideas, wearing laboratory gowns (blouses blanches) while sculpting splendid tailored silhouettes are just a part of the aesthetic. Or what about unbelievable transformation of absurdist experiments into desirable understated luxury? Everything worked out, as shown in the film.
Yet director Menna Laura Meijer only explores the retail aspect in one one section, and even there remains distant. Alda Farinella, the owner of Janna Store in Torino and one of Margiela’s first distributors, makes ‘totale’ ovation to Margiela himself, though defines the women buying as not necessarily beautiful, but women who feel prettier once wearing Margiela’s designs. This, I do not agree with, as Margiela was, by definition, a product for everybody, just as long as you understood it as a product that left the entire aesthetic canon behind.
And that, I suppose was the clientele: special, creative women looking for the creations of this special, creative man.
Margiela’s initial arrival in Paris, however, was not so easy for the soon to be respected Maison Martin Margiela. The French press discredited the awkward beauty that emerged from the Flemish city of Antwerp. In contrast, the confidence exuded by Margiela and Meiren generated its own energy that not only surprised the establishment of fashion, but also themselves. Contradicting the hermetic that had been the house’s DNA from day one, backstage they were able to share their happy tears and many victories.
Having all used anarchy as a tool of seduction, their stories succeeded. A family that not only connected Antwerp and Paris to the rest of the world and beyond, but a movement that inspired all free minds to never cease dreaming with wakefulness. One must see the day pass by, let the night arrive and delay sunrise for the pure joy of seeking creation.
We Margiela is a timeless love story on these creations in the dark. Don’t miss it!
WE MARGIELA – DOCUMENTARY by mint film office
documentary | 2017 | 99 minutes
Dutch, English and Italian spoken
Dutch and English subtitled
Amsterdam – De Balie Amsterdam – Rialto Amsterdam – FC Hyena
Den Bosch – Verkadefabriek
Den Haag – Filmhuis Den Haag
Eindhoven – NatLab
Hilversum – Filmhuis Hilversum
Maastricht – Lumiere
Rotterdam – LantarenVenster
Tilburg – Cinecitta
Utrecht – ’t Hoogt
Antwerp – Cartoon’s Cinema Antwerp
Brugge – Cinema Lumière
Brussels – BOZAR
Genk – C-Mine
Gent – Sphinx Cinema
Leuven – Cinema ZED-STUK
Milan – 10 Corso Como
Shanghai – 10 Corso Como
St. Petersburg – Sreda
Tallinn – Tallinn Fashion Film Festival
Tel Aviv – DocAviv 2018