STYLE SWOT: Maison Martin Margiela

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The Maison Margiela collection has just hit H&M - so what's the big deal?

Following in the flamboyant footsteps of Versace, Anna Dello Russo and Marni, Belgian fashion house Maison Martin Margiela is the latest label to collaborate with highstreet shopping Mecca H&M.

So what's the big deal? What's with all the silent manifestos and headless campaign shots? Here's the 101 on MMM...

Born in Belgium in 1957, Mr Martin Margiela founded his namesake label in 1988 after cutting his teeth under Jean Paul Gaultier's creative watch.

Often referred to as avante garde, experimental and non-traditionalist, the whole Margiela deal is deconstruction. While star jumping between the elegantly feminine and solidly masculine, Margiela likes to play with shape, size and detailing in an alluring yet mysterious way.

Key themes? Oversized anything, exposed tailoring, muted shades and structured silhouettes that just can't help but catch the eye.

It's not just the clothes that make Margiela fascinating however. Oh no.

Despite living in a world where Kate Middleton can't sunbathe in private and we all know the movements of Kim and Kanye 24/7, Martin Margiela has never been professionally photographed. Never!

Conducting all interviews by fax - yeap, seriously - and shunning the spotlight come every runway finale, the designer has managed to live an anonymous life of style.

Though what makes the man even more mysterious still, is the suspicious departure from his own business in 2009.

Making no formal announcement despite rumours doing the rounds since 2002, a major stakeholder finally commented: "Martin has not been there for a long time. He is here but not here. We have a new fresh design team on board."

Confusing? Provoking? Intriguing? Yes. As every Maison Margiela move should apparently be...


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