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the london issue

very dark fashion maison martin margiela


[NYLON]

contents 04.

Her dark materials

05.

Cool all over

06.

Easy rider

08.

Maison Martin Margiela:The Exhibition

10.

Ginger love


[NYLON]

f a s h i o n

her dark materials Katie Gallagher fades to black with her futuristic collection.

Text Raiji Lucienne Jacques Photography Moses Berkson

Upon entering designer Katie Gallagher’s studio on the Lower East Side, my eyes get a bit itchy and my throat closes up slightly. There is cat in the room and I’m allergic. “Sveater” is a Maine Coon. His name means sweater in Russian”.The animal moves slowly about the space, checking out my every move. Sveater is clearly Gallagher’s pride and joy, but her namesake clothing line is a close runner-up. One can imagine what Gallagher’s designs looks like just by taking a glance at the woman herself. Her porcelain skin and bleach blonde hair are made even more striking by the small stars, drawn with black liner, on the counter corners of her eyes. She’s dressed head-to-toe in black, and er waif-like figure is the perfect frame for her body-concious pieces. “I use myself as the inspiration for my clothing, because I make things that I want to wear”, she says. “I generally like fitted things and the heavy contrast of black and white-like my hair compared to my clothing”.There is artistry behind the meticulous construction of the pieces, too.“I don’t want to make designs for the sole purpose of creating a product,”says Gallagher.“My line is for the woman who appreciates unconventional tailoring and luxury fabrics.” The Pennsylvania-born, Rhode Island School of Design graduate gets creative with her materials, employing spandex, elastic straps, Powernet (usually used for undergarments), and a lot of leather to realize her futuristic vision. “I create an atmosphere, kind of like a painting,” she says. My pieces don’t have any side seams because I love to focus on wrapping the body.” Her leggings-which are part Edward Scissorhands and part The Nightmare Before Christmas-are a mix of mesh and leather, accentuated with zipper detailing that travels down the leg like a winding road. This clever use of hardware is just one of the design elements she absorbed while apprenticing for Threeasfour in 2008. Gallagher says she learned quite a bit during her time at the experimental trio’s studio, and her influences run the gamut from labels like Comme des Garcons to artists like Richard Serra, Hans Bellmer and Mary Blair. But she makes it clear that she does not “hero worship” anyone in particular. “I try not to focus on one artist or a designer,” she says.“I appreciate their work, but the only constant (inspiration) I’d like to have is my own. My design aesthetics is very disciplined.” Tee spring collection, which is hanging on metal racks behind Gallagher, includes a poofy leather dress topped off with sharp, triangular shoulders, and a cropped, bomber-like jacket in a glossed leather with a wide hood. Gallagher is truly focused, on creating clothing that makes just as much of a statement as the person wearing it. ”These are very minimal pieces in craft, but quite eloquent and direct in delivering a point,”she says. And because her palette is mostly grays and blacks, her work is often described as goth, which is something she can’t stand “Goth is a very trendy concept in fashion right now, but it’s not particularly relevant to my clothing,”she says firmly.“The term, in the way that is misused, is not about the subculture created by music, but is somehow a trend that equals wearing black.And who doesn’t like wearing black?” P 4


[NYLON]

f a s h i o n

co o l al l over What rabbits, sidewalk cracks, and Halloween have in common? They’re some of the things that inspire Chandi Lancaster. When it comes to her clothing line CHANDI, the Brooklyn-based designer creates kooky pieces that are fun to mix and match. On offer are cutout bandage dresses, miniskirts, onesies, bike shorts, and T-shirts, with wild prints that include fangs, clocks, flowers, and a slew of wild animals. “Do you remember the Fly Girls from In Living Color?” Lancaster asks. “This would do them proud.”

chandinyc.com

P 5


[NYLON]

f a s h i o n

goldsign, $363

hollywood trading company, $3,100

easy rider wanna look rough and tough? just throw on a tattered denim motorcycle jacket for that “bad to the bone”look.

divine rights of denim, $94

paige denim, $385

forever 21, $25 joe’s, $348

P 6


[NYLON]

f a s h i o n

vintage jacket from what goes around comes around, stylist’s own shirt and boots, jeans by bess, belt by mara carrizo scalise, body chains by bliss lau.

P 7


[NYLON]

f a s h i o n

maison martin margiela: the exhibition A retrospective of Martin Margiela’s work just opened at The ModeMuseum (MoMu) in Antwerp on occasion of the 20-year anniversary of the Maison. Curated by MoMu creative director Kaat Debo in collaboration with Bob Verhelst and the Maison itself, the exhibition captures Margiela’s exacting aesthetic in its design and installation. Text / Photography Marcin Liwarski

As is often the case with MoMu exhibitions, the strength lies in the fact that they go beyond the display of objects and incorporate installation, photography, video and film to fully convey a designer’s aesthetic. This multi-media approach makes the exhibition particularly current and engaging as fashion-as-image occupies an everincreasing centrality in the world of fashion. (This fact was recently highlighted by Suzy Menkes’s article in The International Herald Tribune, about the proliferation of fashion films.) The MoMu exhibition opens with a cardboard cutout representing the employees of the Maison, whose faces, like Margiela’s, remain blank and, as the exhibition text points out, thus remain incognito. It continues with a series of garments from various collections and a number of Margiela’s variation on his signature shoe: the Tabi Shoe (derived from the Japanese tabi socks). The garments and accessories in the first room are covered with a layer of silver and white paint. The abundance of silver is reminiscent of Warhol’s Factory, while the white paint—a staple of Margiela’s P 8


[NYLON]

f a s h i o n

aesthetic —cracks alongside the garments creases and register signs of wear. Thus, in one of the first of a series of subversions, the whitewash usually employed as a way to erase aging becomes a reminder of the passage of time. The white layer covering the garments returns in the exhibition space, which is white-washed with the exception of enlarged photographic prints of the exhibition interior superimposed on some of the walls. This superimposition is meant to remind one of the tromp-l-oeil effects that pervade Margiela’s

stores, offices and garments.This technique is most evident in Margiela’s headquarters in rue Saint Maur in Paris, where photographs of their previous offices are superimposed on doors and walls to instill the “new” spaces with the history of the Maison.This complicated relation to time and history is also evident in his clothes which are often pre-aged and combine garments from different periods together with Margiela’s own past work. Time is, in fact, one of the two main themes of Margiela’s work and it imbues the entire exhibition, but is perhaps most evident in the installation exploring Margiela’s Spring/Summer 1996 collection where he printed photographs of old clothes onto new ones. The photographs and thus the resulting prints had also been artificially aged, acquiring a sepia tone and the out-of-focus look of old black and white prints. This gave a an artificially created nostalgic, melancholic look to the new garments. The simultaneous exploration and denial of nostalgia is common perhaps to the exhibition as a whole, where enigmatic white spaces, muted colors and a lyrical aesthetic is undercut by witty subversions. P 9


[NYLON]

f a s h i o n

ginger Photography Marcin Liwarski

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love


[NYLON]

f a s h i o n

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[NYLON]

f a s h i o n

top all saints, necklace models own

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[NYLON]

f a s h i o n

top topshop, skirt all saints model Malgosia at Orange Models Poland make-up / styling Ina Lekiewicz P 13

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