© 2010 Saty + Pratha pratha saty maison margiela

Take it, or leave it.

We’ve had months to check out the Martin Margiela exhibit at Sommerset House. And of course, we left off going until its very last day. And of course, there were many other procrastinators. Including John Galliano. Yup, the John Galliano. Having a coffee outside in the most ‘The Sun Never Sets On The British Empire’-oozing of structures that is Sommerset House, we spotted a man walking towards. “Look at that pirate!” said Saty. “Ha! It’s John Galliano!” said I. And then in near unison “oh-my-god, that’s motherfuckin’ JOHN Galliano!” We didn’t ask him for a photo, because that would be stalkerish and intrusive (uh, right?), instead we beamed and said “Hi”. And thought it was super cute that he would be checking out a fellow fashion visionary’s exhibit. (Five minutes later, we were like, “uh, what if that was the Galliano equivalent of those Beckham imitators? And he was just a pirate afterall?”) Did I mention we love living in London?
Anyway, back to Margiela! The items/curation were wonderful. The show was broken down into about 20 sections, each highlighting a different component of the Maison’s works. For the print nerds comme moi, there is a display of various show invitations (kids’ drawings on cardboard, metallic wording embroidered on cloth, boxes of confetti, printed rolling papers, circled classified ads, in-patient bracelets!). Then, sections about the things we all expected — the clothing and (sometimes non-) wearables: Tabi examples, paint, trompe l’oeil, flat garments, destroy, etc. And remember that hideously wonderful trompe l’oeil birthday cake?!
Now, all those aforementioned procrastinators meant that it was a bit of a packed show. Exacerbating some stupid bits about the presentation. Example: the curators felt it was important to show items from the artisanal collection (second-hand clothing that the Maison has reworked into new clothing), but there was only ONE binder for all of the visitors. We shared with a nice girl from Italy, while others cued behind us, most of whom walked off a minute later. Also, items from the production process section were stuck in dark boxes, which were only lit every five mins or so. The viewer is left standing around for much of the time, and like an idiot, I waited to see the wig coat.
When I whined that these things were so boring compared to the first two thirds of the exhibit, Saty pointed out, “Take it, or leave it. Not everyone has to love everything. That’s Margiela.” Fine then.

Souvenirs: I scooped a handful of the ‘Birthday Show’ confetti strewn about the ground and shoved it in my trench pocket. I’ll send it to dear-friend-Susie in Hong Kong, because she would’ve loved to have been there in person.


  1. Sue and Fatboy
    Posted 2010/09/06 at 3:14 am | Permalink

    Can you adopt us so we can move to London too!

    • Pratha
      Posted 2010/09/06 at 11:01 pm | Permalink

      oh good, FOUR hungry mouths in London :)

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