Margiela: The Movie

The September Issue, Valentino: The Last Emperor, and Dior and I, were just some of the few notable fashion documentaries created. These films portrayed the designer’s life stories, as well as the execution of their latest and greatest. This week, Martin Margiela is now added to the list of recognizable fashion brands creating a cinematic experience of their company. The new documentary titled Martin Margiela: In His Own Words was just made available via virtual cinema.

The film premiered at various festivals last Fall, but is just now accessible to the public through “virtual cinemas” which cost $12 per showing. The 90-minute documentary, written, directed, and produced by Reiner Holzemer, presents Margielas early career as Jean Paul Gaultier's
assistant to creative director at Hermès through his creation of his own House. Margiela was one of the very few designers who did not want his face shown in public, nor conduct face-to-face interviews. He is a designer of complete anonymity, granting him the title, “The Banksy of Fashion.” Even in the film, his interviews are shot faceless.

His decision to remain a faceless designer allowed his brand and clothing to “speak for themselves,” hence the film’s title. Shooting a documentary about a man who doesn’t want his identity revealed, was a challenge, says Holzemer. But through behind-the-scenes footage and interviews with those who knew and admired him, like designer and mentor Jean Paul Gaultier, fashion icon Carine Roitfeld, and fashion critic Cathy Hory, the film clearly indicates who Martin Margeila is, without offering a glimpse of what he looks like.

The film even offers a childhood background of Margiela, which according to Holzemer, was difficult to gain access to. “It was always convincing, it was always a process,” says Holzemer.

Through runway footage, stories of his time at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp, and voiceover from the man himself. Viewers gain inside knowledge on the man behind one of the world biggest fashion houses and the brand that inspired the anti-fashion fashion movement.

By Staci S.