Maison Martin Margiela was established in 1988 by Martin Margiela, a graduateof the Académie Royale des Beaux-Arts d’Anvers then, for three years, an assistant of Jean-Paul Gaultier. From 1998 to 2005, he was an artistic director of Femme d’Hermès collections. Maison Martin Margiela today has boutiques in France, Japan, Italy, Great Britain, the USA, Hong Kong, Germany, Dubai, Korea, Taiwan and… Belgium. Maison Martin Margiela is known for its taste of white, in the painting on the walls, cotton covers on furniture and chiffons on the chandeliers; from the technique around contrasts in size; from the surrealism and pop culture. Forerunner and pioneer, Maison Martin Margiela practises minimalism and anonymity, "signs" its reputed white creations, sometimes walks its models masked down the catwalk and collectively answers questions. The strong aesthetics of Maison Martin Margiela allowed it to be invited to numerous exhibitions. In 2009, Maison Martin Margiela was given a blank canvas to develop the Elle Décoration Suite in the 220m2 apartmentwhich overlooks the Palais de Chaillot. In 2010, Maison Martin Margiela, named following a show, took part in the old section of the Maison des Centraliens, dating back to the Napoléon III period, and revamped the space to create rooms, a restaurant, a smoking room, a bar and a reception. The Maison designed this project in looking for continuity in relation to its own artistic history by offering a harmonious place within its contrasts and tinted surrealism. In order to carry out this project, the Maison worked together with other artists, landscapers and lighting engineers particularly.
What is the reason for Maison Martin Margiela entering into the area of interior design on such a large scale?
- The project of the Maison des Centraliens and the Maison Champs-Élysées is today the most ambitious which has been entrusted to Maison Martin Margiela, and it is located at a prestigious address, which gives its great visibility. It falls within the logic of the activity of our Interior Design office: the Elle Décoration Suite in the Palais de Chaillot in 2009. But it is also a challenge, as for us it's about matching different worlds — day and night, private and public — and expressing ourselves while respecting strong constraints: aesthetic constraints of a particular Haussmannian hotel and safety constraints of a place which welcomes the public.
From interior design fashion, what does not change with Maison Martin Margiela?
- The identity of Maison Martin Margiela is expressed at the same time, and in the same place, through its fashion collections and its interior design achievements. In its Parisian premises and as in its boutiques across the whole world, white cotton covers are found, trompe-l’œils, the diversion of items and material, the mix of styles and periods, the technique with aesthetic languages and the humour which is the permanent component throughout. From interior design fashion, passing through items, the aesthetic values are the same: the unfinished look and the sense of detail, the surrealism and pop culture, the oversized look and the projection into two dimensions, the diversion of material.
Which style of customer base do you think about when you decorate the Maison des Centraliens and what experience are you looking to provoke?
- We think of an international, modern customer base, capable of appreciating a form of elegant, pleasurable difference. We are in the world of relatively "democratic" luxury, offering more freedom than that of palaces; a luxury which also firstly defines itself by its qualitative dimension of sophistication, worrying about detail and irony. It's the style that our customer base appreciates, throughout the world. We would like the guests of the restaurant and the hotel to be able to live the experience of the generosity of our creative offering, in sync with the generosity of this very particular hotel's reception. An experience which entices them to come back.