It may sound strange to film a portrait about a designer without showing the protagonist’s face – but if that designer is Martin Margiela, that is the way it must be done.
As with any art form, appreciation for his handiwork is very subjective, but an indicator of success would be the influence the artist or the movement has. Margiela’s designs may not be your own personal taste in fashion, but in the entirety of his 41 provocative collections, the Maison has shaped the fashion industry, and even 20 years after he left, his impact is still easily recognisable.
The documentary In His Own Words is the first time Martin Margiela speaks for himself and explains his works. He never gave interviews before, though mystery was never a strategy of his. Backstage solitude is just the way he is – a myth and a master. He explains different stages in his career and talks about formative childhood memories. He also reveals what made him silent leave the industry without any public announcement. He says he still feels the pressure, even after years of no longer working in the Maison. Despite only hearing his voice and seeing his hands, the viewer is still able to connect and feel intimacy with Margiela. The director, Reiner Holzemer, succeeded in creating a fascinating portrait about the „Banksy of Fashion“, whose work has become a part of contemporary cultural heritage.