Detail of the installation for the retrospective ‘La Maison Martin Margiela (9/4/1612)’ at Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam, 11 June — 17 August, 1997.
Martin Margiela has already taken part in various exhibitions on contemporary fashion. His first solo exhibition was held in the Summer of 1997 in the Rotterdam Boijmans Van Beuningen Museum. It was a retrospective of his work, La Maison Martin MArgiela (9/4/1615). Eighteen dummies with Margiela creations, one silhouette from each collection, were arranged outside the Henket pavilion. The visitor stood on the inside and looked out: the opposite of window-shopping.
The clothes had been treated with selected bacteria and moulds for four days. They had been stored in appropriate surroundings to enable the organisms to feed and multiply. Splendid discolorations were the result. The moulds, the discolorations and the wind brought the silhouettes to life. It was an extremely dramatic picture: the poetry of decay.