Calling all fans of Martin Margiela! 

Full to the brim with timeless images and intricate details from the designer’s archive, the star of this week’s book club is a 256-page coffee table tome, arranged to reveal the nuances and artistry of the inimitable Belgian designer. Because, if there was ever an artist for which this kind of deep-dive was needed, then there’s no doubt that it would be Margiela – the elusive maverick, the enfant terrible of the fashion world.

With careful focus given to the critically neglected period between 1997 and 2003, during which time Margiela served as Creative Director for Hermès’ ready-to-wear womenswear line, Lannoo’s Margiela, The Hermès Years highlights the enormous sartorial impact of the Hermès-Margiela alliance. It’s a link that helped to crystallise the coalescence of luxury and comfort that was starting to take shape at the end of the twentieth century; a link that fused Margiela’s minimalist deconstructionism – frayed hems, industrial-weight cottons – with the hangover of eighties opulence that still haunted Hermès’ runways.

Unabridged, the book exposes the extent to which Margiela’s work at Hermès was eerily prescient of fashion’s current mood, where anti-bombshell models and off-schedule runways are increasingly commonplace. The images within Margiela, The Hermès Years – often rare and, in some cases, never before published – capture the Margiela muse of the late nineties. She was often decades older than the average model, and otherwise cast with an eye for unorthodox beauty. As Kaat Debo, Director of Antwerp’s MoMu Fashion Museum, describes: “[Margiela] is a designer whose work has consistently been based on infinite respect for women.” 

With interviews from Margiela’s constellation of closest collaborators, alongside essays from Sandrine Dumas, Rebecca Arnold, Kaat Debo and Sarah Mower, Margiela: The Hermès Years is a maelstrom of fashion and sartorial history, cataloguing the defining moments that revolutionised previously neat conceptions of luxury.   

To purchase Margiela, The Hermès Years head to Amazon.com.