Making its debut at the Tribeca Film Festival, celebrating the power of anonymity, is ‘The Artist Is Absent: A Short Film On Martin Margiela’, an eleven-minute documentary film on whom Suzy Menkes calls the ‘Greta Garbo of fashion’ (even though he did give his approval to the making of it). With no public photographs in sight, let alone a quick wave of thanks at the end of his shows, this film is a cool peek inside the intimate world of Martin Margiela.
Directed by Alison Chernick, you get to see how he helped make Antwerp a fashion force to be reckoned with, by providing such a unique + refreshing point of view in literally tearing things apart + turning them inside out. Who would ever think that wearing a wire hanger on your back, which is then strategically wrapped around you in the front, over a white shirt that is placed on you like a swatch of fabric, could look so beautiful?
Of course, his anonymity did not just stop with him but, in the way, he presented his fashions. Margiela didn’t want his designs to be distracted by the models wearing them so he would cover their eyes or whole faces as seen below, which makes perfect sense. I remember when I first wanted to do spoken word, I wanted to cover my face + just leave my mouth exposed. By just exposing the instrument used to utter my words of poetry, I would not distract the audience from really listening + not just hearing.
Featuring archival runway footage + interviews with colleagues + friends, including Jean Paul Gaultier, this is a short film on a larger than life subject that gives you just enough to satisfy your curiosity on the mystery that is Martin Margiela.