From a Tabi insole-shaped bookmark, to an all-white stationery set
Today, fashion’s most legendary aesthetes make a case not only for a wardrobe of full-looks – providing the relevant accessories, from hats to shoes, required to make a top-to-toe ensemble possible – but indeed, an entire lifestyle. If you subscribe so assuredly to a designer’s vision as to walk around in it from day to day, their case seems to go, might you not also want it to trickle into your home, claiming your upholstery, tableware, and bed linen? What about the accessories in your bathroom, and the curtains which frame your windows? Why stop at a handbag?
Such is the case for Maison Margiela, the Paris-based house which, since its foundation in 1988 by enigmatic and eponymous Belgian designer Martin Margiela, has spawned a legion of impassioned followers hungry to step into its universe. And this is due in no small part to the power of the vision behind the house: for 30 years, Margiela has been synonymous with the contemporary, deconstructing established tropes and traditionally manufactured pieces alike, to create the ultimate in the avant-garde. Quietly anti-consumerist at its core, the brand “emerged as a groundbreaking antithesis to the logo-mania of the 1990s,” writes Hannah Tindle, on the resurgence of appetite for archive Margiela pieces. And under creative director John Galliano, who has helmed it since 2014, these core concepts continue to evolve, encapsulating a modern sensibility as deftly now as then.
So what might a range of Margiela objects look like, were they to invade your home? Naturally, they deconstruct, reinvent and redefine their traditional iterations – from an alarm clock in cloth, whose hours are embroidered onto its face, to a set of Matryoshka dolls, traditionally colourful and brash, here rendered in pure white and stacking neatly inside one another. What else? There’s a trompe-l’oeil door sticker, allowing owners to create the illusion of an ornate monochrome interior in the blandest of rooms; a collection of immaculate stationery (all white, naturally); a magnifying glass in the shape of half a pair of thick black glasses; a pen, shaped like and topped with an opulent black ostrich feather, but closed with a classic plastic biro lid (so as not to leak through to your labcoat). All is conceptual, mysterious, elegant, and modern, much like the house itself. And available at Matches Fashion, happily, where you can purchase pieces for yourself of offer them to the most fanatic of followers with a flourish, and the knowledge that they might one day be as iconic the Tabi.