Mysterious Antwerp Six designer Marina Yee to show first collection in over 10 years

One of the more forgotten of the Antwerp 6, Marina Yee is set to return 10 years after her last collection with a new collection to be shown at the concept store Laila Tokio in Tokyo.  Marina graduated at the Royal Academy, Antwerp in 1981 alongside the Dries Van Noten, Ann Demeulemeester and Dirk Van Saene and went on to show in London as part of the  Antwerp 6.  Yee then left the group in 1988, setting up her own label to great success but did not want her brand to become large and commercial and so only released small collections off the traditional catwalk schedule, showing her final collection in 2005.
Titled the M.Y. project, the collection will include clothing and textiles from flea-markets reimagined and reconstructed into 5 new designs alongside archive pieces and handpicked artwork.  Yee’s work has always centred around the reconstruction of garments found at flea markets in an effort to ‘battle the materialistic wastefulness’ associated with fashion.  Yee was at the forefront of recycled and eco-friendly fashion before the issue of eco-consciousness really hit the mainstream.  
She calls the latest collection  “the micro-collection.  It’s very small and it’s a reaction against the over-offering of so many choices today that lacks soul.”  The opportunity, said Yee, came about after the vintage shop, which previously hosted pop-ups selling Helmut Lang archive pieces and Phoebe Philo‘s first collection for Céline, purchased some of her designs at an auction.  With her latest collection she hopes to shine a light on sustainability within the industry. 
The collection can be seen at   Laila Tokio    1-5-11-2f, Shibuya, Shibuya-Ku, Tokyo   from 30 August  
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Marina Yee – Designer

 

Martin Margiela’s Palais Galliera retrospective

Martin Margiela, the ‘Invisible Man’ of fashion, has a retrospective spanning his 10 years at the helm of his eponymous label opening at the Palais Galliera, Paris this month.  Spanning his career from spring/summer 1989 to spring/summer 2009 the exhibition is the first retrospective from the Belgian Designer, and despite his very low key lifestyle, Margiela is credited as Artistic Director for the exhibition as well as writing the captions for the looks and overseeing the wigs and make up on each mannequin.  
Graduating from the infamous Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp, where he studied alongside the remaining ‘Antwerp Six’, Martin began with a tenure at Jean Paul Gaultier as his assistant, Gaultier claiming he was by far the best assistant he had ever had and pushed him to start his own line.  In 1989 Martin produced his first collection and, along side the other Antwerp Six, continued the legacy of Deconstructionism started in fashion by the japanese designers, Rei Kawakubo of Comme des Garçon & Yoji Yammamoto amongst others.  
Seen in the context of our present obsession with 24-hour connectivity and accessibility, Margiela’s work feels refreshingly subversive.  Throughout his career he did not give interviews.  His label on his clothing was just a plain white label stitched to the clothing, the only visible presence being the two stitches of cotton from the outside of the garment.  In terms of his designs, he was years ahead of his time, and this new retrospective provides an opportunity to see the work of this extraordinary intellectual, who was every inch a designer’s designer – Demna Gvasalia, of Balenciaga and Vetements, and Phoebe Philo are both self-confessed fans.  It is a testament to his legacy that after Martin Margiela left his label as head designer both Raf Simons & Haider Ackermann both turned down the roll.  
The exhibition contains over 130 silhouettes, house archives and special installations and offers an unprecedented look at one of the most influential designers of the 20th century.
Palais Galliera Muséede la Mode de la Ville de Paris.  10, Avenue Pierre ler de Serbie 75116 Paris.  March 3rd to July 15th  Palais Galliera