Special Designers Report 2
Maison Martin Margiela
The extremely mysterious Martin Margiela established Maison Martin Margiela in 1988. Just about everything about this designer is anonymous, from his refusal to interviewed or photographed to the blank, white rectangle labels found in the inside of his clothing pieces. His non-descript and mystifying nature are really what gives him that cool factor. As a graduate of Antwerp’s Royal Academy of Fine Arts, Margiela worked as a design assistant for Jean Paul Gaultier before building his reputation as a strong conceptual designer with a talent for elevating deconstruction into an art form. He has continuously created radical collections that push the confining boundaries of fashion. He has been known to use non-traditional materials like trash bags and seat belts. Margiela’s styles are often admired by the mainstream population and eventually become absorbed in the conventional world of fashion. In addition to his critically acclaimined work on Maison Martin Margiela, Margiela also worked as Hermes’ creative director from 1998 to 2003.
As a leader in Middle Eastern haute couture, Elie Saab’s romantic design aesthetic has attracted international royalty. At the age of 18, Elie Saab began building his brand and in 1998, his ready-to-wear line debuted during Milan fashion week. His signature talent for feminine designs made from the finest silks and chiffons, adorned with elaborate beading and embroidery are really what have contributed to his overall global success. His gowns are often spotted on celebrities and are staples on Hollywood’s red carpets.
Rochas is a French fashion label that was founded in 1925 by Marcel Rochas, who died in 1955. In more recent years, the brand gained recognition for their designs while under the creative direction of Olivier Theyskens. During his time with the house, he reinvented the brand, creating an entirely new silhouette. Rochas is really known for it’s French elegance, and its collections have been considered to be ravishing and magnificent. After this transitional period, the brand gained an incredibly loyal following. In November of 2008, Marco Zanini was named the new artistic director for the fashion house. His first collection with Rochas was shown at Paris Fashion Week in February 2009. He become known the unpredictable nature that he brought to the label.
Viktor & Rolf
Viktor Horsting and Rolf Snoeren are known for creating the perfect balance of drama and chic-ness for precise Parisian couture. The brand was established in 1993, the pair kick-started their careers in fashion by collaborating, after meeting at design school in the Netherlands. Their works are undeniably artistic as well as being incredibly fashionable. The Dutch duo’s works are everything but boring due to their fantastical, theatrical and over-the-top design strategies. In addition to their beautiful clothing, pair is known for their popular fragrance “Flowerbomb.”
Giambattista Valli debuted in 2005 and quickly gained a very loyal following of celebrities and socialites. The Italian designer’s specialty is experimental in nature, creating dramatic pieces with interesting proportions and volumes. The uniqueness of this label is definitely in the details, which are very feminine. Amongst these are ruffles and bows that successfully soften the sharp architectural design aspects.
By: Robyn Alt