There is always some sort of thought-provoking spin on Maison Martin Margiela creations. Last week during the Couture presentations in Paris, the French firm that is popular among the most fashion savvy celebrities—Cate Blanchett, Sarah Jessica Parker, Ashley Olsen—showed its Artisanal line of one-of-a-kind clothes pieced together from found objects. Old coins and vintage bits of fabric among other things were worked into the gorgeous gowns. Perhaps it was a statement on sustainability or recycling. It’s hard to know for sure. The design company is as famous for its secrecy as it is for its ingenuity.
From the beginning in 1998, Martin Margiela rarely gave interviews and never posed for pictures. Since he retired in 2009, the team of designers that replaced him has been equally covert about their activities. One thing, however, is quite clear: They have had jewelry on their minds. Minimalist costume pieces—including a cool set of gold tone band rings for each finger—came first. At the couture presentation, almost every model wore super-sized, mismatched earrings in the shape of gemstones (above, left). In a matter of weeks, a new line of fine jewelry named Heritage with pieces ranging in price from around $700-$6,000 is going to be available at select retail locations including Barney’s and Net-a-Porter.
Classic jewelry silhouettes are sliced and diced in the ingenious collection. The iconic round brilliant-cut diamond engagement ring is re-imagined as two half-moon shaped diamonds with a little space in between them. A traditional gold signet ring is split down the center. Several jewels play on the idea of a sapphire in a halo setting of diamonds. A double-strand necklace has the sapphire suspended from one chain and the halo of stones hangs on another chain beneath it. For a ring, the conventional oval shape sapphire and diamond combo is transformed into a by-pass style with the circle diamonds of on top of an oval shape sapphire. Margiela’s catalogue of the jewels describes the so-called Deconstructed Ring as “a divided, disunited jewel that shakes free of the inheritance aesthetic, moving beyond it.” The Margiela lingo decoded: These are classics with a twist.