Loïc Prigent's latest fashion documentary, JEAN PAUL GAULTIER RACONTE 1986! appears to feature a rare cameo from the perennially reclusive Martin Margiela.
Amid Jean Paul Gaultier's musing on his pivotal 'Russian Constructivist' Fall/Winter 1986 show, footage of men and women from his studio walk the runway rolls. Then, at around the 21:09 mark, a tall, leather-clad figure takes to the runway. "Should I say who it is?" asks Gaultier. "Is he well known?" replies Prigent. "Yes, but not his face."
Margiela has always been famously enigmatic; he insisted that no photographs were taken of him, interviews were not conducted face to face and he did no end-of-catwalk-show bows. His equivocal attitude jarred with the big-name designers of the time who traded on their brand name and image. In 2011, he told the Independent, via fax, “we prefer to focus on the clothes and not all that is put around them in the media.”
Yet at Gaultier's legendary 1986 Russian Constructivist show, Martin Margiela walked the catwalk modelling the legendary ‘fashnost’ collection. "It couldn't be true!" exclaims Prigent. Gautier explained that he wanted people from his studio to walk alongside the models because "they worked with me, so we're enjoying the party." Watch the full video below.
Martin Margiela’s first job in Paris was working for Jean Paul Gaultier, who has called him the best assistant he ever had. "When I met him and I saw his work I told him immediately that he was ready for his own line and that he didn’t need an apprenticeship," he told i-D, "But he insisted that he would like to work with me. He stayed with me for three years, he was my best assistant, he became my friend, and when he told me that he wanted to leave and start his own line I could only wish him good luck."
Now, after 12 years out of the public eye, the reclusive fashion designer has announced his comeback – as an artist. His work will appear in an exhibition at the Lafayette Anticipations gallery in Paris from April 15 to July 25. Simply called Martin Margiela, the installation includes previously-unseen photographs, sculptures, and other artistic pieces by the renowned fashion designer.