"In the backyard of the [Royal Academy of Fine Arts] school was this little building, on the verge of collapsing. You would have to very carefully go over the stairs, because if you took one mis-step, you could literally push your feet through them. It was almost dangerous. So I think that the whole thing melted well together. It was the switch from the 80s to 90s, the reaction on excess with minimalism and deconstruction, the first appearance of grunge. So that feeling of romanticism, together with the history, the building and the run down corridors with the statues, it really did make a big impact on how you formed your visual language. I really think there was something quite dark and magical about it, matching perfectly the zeitgeist of the period."

— Willy Vanderperre
Martin Margiela spring / summer 1997
“Margiela drops the original brand name, leaving only the inscription “semi-couture.” Semi-couture translates as “almost like haute couture” or “as if tailored,” i.e somewhere in between ready-to-wear and haute couture. These days, almost every designer makes semi-couture because it costs only a fraction of haute couture to produce.” 

— Chris Dercon on Maison Martin Margiela, Semi-Couture

Martin Margiela spring / summer 1997

Margiela drops the original brand name, leaving only the inscription “semi-couture.” Semi-couture translates as “almost like haute couture” or “as if tailored,” i.e somewhere in between ready-to-wear and haute couture. These days, almost every designer makes semi-couture because it costs only a fraction of haute couture to produce. 

— Chris Dercon on Maison Martin Margiela, Semi-Couture


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