A New Exhibition Unravelling the Secrets Behind Maison Martin Margiela Opens in Paris

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Photo by Steve Eichner/Penske Media/Shutterstock

Previously unseen photographs of Maison Margiela’s women employees are now available to view — by appointment only.

Since the brand’s inception in 1988, Maison Martin Margiela has always been shrouded in mystery. Why does the head designer refuse to make his identity public? Why do his atelier employees wear white lab coats? A new photography exhibition in Paris aims to unravel some of the mysteries.

La Femme De Cabine – Martin Margiela – 1997-2004, comprised of unseen photographs taken by Jonathan Hallam of Maison Margiela’s female employees from the 1990s to the 2000s opens today in Paris and runs until June 25th. Located at creative studio Halebopp in the 11th arrondissement of Paris, the exhibition is open by appointment only.

“I started this series of experiments in photographic portraiture in Paris in 1997 in the 18th arrondissement. Working from my apartment, I built a makeshift darkroom in my bathroom,” the photographer told Dazed. The photos were taken on a vintage camera without negatives, giving the images a dark and eerie feel. Though the images depict the faces of Margiela’s atelier workers, the house’s mysterious identity is maintained through the exhibit’s blurred and nondescript photographs. “It’s almost like the spirits of the people are contained in the pictures,” he added.

John Saint Michel, the show’s curator and Halebopp workshop director and creative partner, explained to WWD, “We wanted to piece together a story that incites emotional intelligence and challenges today’s notion of instantaneity, oversharing and the bombardment of visual information.”

A limited edition box of prints will also be available to collectors.