Couture Fashion

Maison Martin Margiela’s Stunning Vintage Couture

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By Chere Di Boscio

Many argue that couture is eco-friendly in the sense that it’s the embodiment of ‘slow fashion’–these pieces are meant to last, are made to order, and are worn for generations, in some cases.

But Maison Martin Margiela takes this sustainability one step further: the fashion hosue has created an entire couture collection based on upcycled vintage treasures.

This may not be too surprising, considering the House has made eco-friendly creations in the past, including a coat made from hundreds of silver candy wrappers sewn onto pongee silk, and our favourite, a gorgeously loose ‘knit’ sweater fashioned from the blue tops of Biro pens. But what is surprising is the House’s innovative and elegant incorporation of vintage materials.

For example, this season’s show highlights included an outfit with two embroidered panels from a 1920s dress found in a Parisian vintage shop, sewn onto a hand-painted, vintage floral silk discovered in Lyon. There was also a sheer, polkadot silk jacket embellished with silk corsages, and vintage buttons styled into one of the label’s trademark masks.

Other highlights for us included the fact that the brand paraded models down the runway in vintage 60’s boots, instead of fashioning a new footwear collection to match the outfits.

This reclaimed, recycled and restyled collection made what’s old new again, and demonstrated Maison Martin Margiela’s devotion to not only all that is artisanal, but also that which is ecological too.

Given that there’s such a plethora of old couture materials available, and given that they’re incredibly noble and well-made, we’d love to see more and more designers choosing to create new styles from these fabrics rather than buying new – it gives the garment more character and ensures each piece is unique.

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Chere Di Boscio

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