Design House Maison Margiela French
Designer Martin Margiela Belgian

Not on view

The influential “Oversized” collection by Maison Martin Margiela for fall/winter 2000–2001 featured standard garments such as this shift dress, blown up to an Italian size 78. Known for its transgressive treatment of fashionable notions regarding taste, beauty and size, the Maison introduced with this democratic collection a new size that would fit nobody, yet at the same time could be worn by everybody. The garments were fitted on an oversized mannequin and the oversized, near-grotesque outline would float over the body, the gaps were filled with silk paper for a museum-like effect. The dress replicates an underdress or lining, another beloved theme of the designer, who liked to show the interior of the garment and the artisanship hidden below the surface.

This way, Margiela lovingly “lifted the skirts of Paris” as Barbara Vinken wrote, questioning central tenets of the fashion industry such as the perfect body type, and the perfect fit. Timeless garments like this dress manage to capture a glimpse of the sublime through their singular stance in the midst of rapidly changing fashion cycles.

Dress, Maison Margiela (French, founded 1988), wool, nylon, elastane, polyester, French

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