words Johanna Agerman
When entering the temporary 180 sq m Maison Margiela space on Via Savona in Milan, it feels like you have stepped in to a parallel universe. The hustle of Milan is replaced with the serenity induced by an almost entirely white interior, furnished with reclaimed furniture in Margiela’s signature distressed style.
In fact this space is a reproduction of the Maison Martin Margiela Paris studio and is made up of trompe l’oeil wallpaper and flooring and furnished with calico-covered furniture and bottle lamps.
The exhibition is the Maison’s answer to requests from customers to purchase interior design items from the stores and the first step towards offering these designs in their collection. “We thought that Milan would be the best place to try out this new line for the Maison,” says Samantha Garrett, international press manager for Margiela.
Even if the result is a well-considered space that employs interesting and unexpected materials to create new products, the Maison Martin Margiela isn’t set to revolutionise the design industry any time soon. Instead, the Mat, Satiné, Brillant exhibition is more of a well-executed branding exercise, extending the Maison Martin Margiela brand beyond clothing, accessories and the imminent perfume launch later this season.
top image The Maison Martin Margiela sofa made up from square pillows, next to a trompe l’oeil door and reclaimed office cabinet.
image The interior is a replica of the Maison Margiela Paris studio. All furniture, including the computer is covered in white calico. The floor is a photograph of the floor in the Margiela store in LA.
image Bottle lamps from Margiela’s Line 13
image Trompe l’oeil door and rug
image The giant, empty snow globes to the left rests on a shelf made entirely from shelf supports
image 13 chairs covered in white calico to form a bench and a chair suspended from the ceiling to work as a swing.