By Mateo Palacio – Fashion Contributor
“ You know you want it, you filthy minx.” is the enticing introduction to the latest campaign by the online contemporary vintage fashion platform Byronesque. Launched in 2013, the Byronesque brand has set the standard for what is to be expected from digital e-commerce destinations going forward. The first online vintage shop to have a full scale narrative, what makes Byronesque so unique is the meticulous selection of pieces for sale as well as an ingeniously-constructed “editorial” from the company’s Advisory board- which includes : Michele Lamy ( the force behind dark fashion juggernaut Rick Owens ), Irene Silvagni ( Creative Director at Yohji Yamamoto ) and Simon Collins (former dean of Parson’s School of Design and one of fashion’s most sought-after Creative Directors).
Constantly engaging its audience with robust information that can take you through a journey of exploration and education of the past 50+ years in avant-garde fashion via a fully-functional app, Byronesque had developed into a go-to sartorial source by consistently delivering powerful, well-scripted posts as well as androgynously chic pieces that can be yours by utilizing your online shopping cart.
So the fashion collective as engineered a new way to bring fashion and designer trunk show together in a rather provocative say. Byronesque apparently also does not care about being flagged and marked as “ inappropriate ‘ by Instagram regulators whilst sharing their latest premier retrospective offering (that you can buy), provocatively titled:
In conjunction with honoring the venerated French luxury house that produces both haute couture-inspired artisanal collections and ready-to-wear collections, Byronesque has proffered a visual smorgasbord of pieces, past and present, for your literal consumption.
Before one ventures over to the Byronesque visual feast, it would behoove the fashion-challenged to have a quick overview of the label’s history. Maison Margiela has revolutionized and continues to influence the designs of current and future designers- even as John Galliano has now assumed the reigns of the label. Although currently helmed by Galliano as Creative Director, Martin Margiela steered his eponymous brand with a combination of avant-vision and acute business acumen until he eventually stepped down, some would say as a result of his disillusionment with the “business of fashion”. Prior to the Galliano epoch, Martin Margiela was able to properly initiate a radical fashion aesthetic, with the ability to completely dissect a garment of all the usual elements. He experimented and transformed something as simple as moving a collar or a sleeve onto a different part of the piece to create a more conceptually-formed garment. Perhaps one of the most revolutionary and iconic statement pieces to come out of the Maison Martin Margiela atelier was twenty years ago; the Tabi boots. Inspired by the traditional Japanese sandals, the Tabi boots mimic the shape the fit of a shoe but was different in the way that the big toe is separated from the rest of the toes. The boots have become essential to every fashion anarchist’s closet, with so many variations and styles to choose from. Also important to point out is that through the deconstructed nature of Margiela’s earliest pieces- like the rips/tears, asymmetries, exaggerated knots, and uneven hems- are still very much presented at fashion weeks around the galaxy (check any emerging designer’s presentation). The design DNA of Margiela’s eclectic designs are still seemingly being reinterpreted and innovated by the new generation of fashion architects. With Yohji Yamamoto and Rei Kawakubo exhibiting this same aesthetic in Japan, it served Margiela’s purpose to export his work there. Created from two different cultures and different generations, these designers were able to consolidate the idea that fashion can be a conceptual form of art as well. The globalization of fashion’s biggest accomplishment was that people from all over could obtain garments that expressed individuality, uniqueness and inclusivity. The aesthetic eventually replaced the collective idea of what should be deemed beautiful and glamorous and spoke to something much more substantial and thought provoking, This “new” aesthetic (as fallacious as the concept of “new” in fashion can be) has completely revolutionized the way we see clothing, and has served as one of the biggest catalyst for the business of modern fashion today. As such, the Margiela brand has developed an almost fetishistic cult following whose devotees feverishly seek out elusive Margiela offerings, as scoring the right Margiela piece is almost akin to a porn addiction.
When asking Byronesque CEO and founder Gill Linton on how the idea of #MargielaPORN was formed around the concept of sex and fetishism, and how they were still able to translate that same powerful devotion to all things Margiela as something as something analogous to internet porn, she made it clear what the intent was:
“ The collection grew over a few months and suddenly we realized we had pretty much had something from all of Margiela’s most iconic collections. It’s the equivalent of food porn for people who love Margiela. It started there and started to make sense when you consider Margiela’s approach to being the beauty in what culture deems to be ugly or taboo. People want what they can’t or shouldn’t have…what they don’t really know about. We’re tapping into that. There’s an element of ‘you can’t sit with us’. Not to be elitist. But it is unlike today’s “in your face” culture. We don’t give everything away otherwise there’s nothing exciting to find out – that’s what Margiela did so brilliantly. “
The audacious move to create this “campaign” will ensure you get down and dirty (and most of all sexy) with the most orgasmic Martin Maison Margiela clothes and accessories you have ever seen. Byronesque makes sure that you get the complete vintage naughty experience, by holding a Private Screening and a vintage Margiela pop-up shop at the last remaining porn cinema in Paris (Le Beverley Adult Cinema. ///// 14 Rue De La Ville Neuve, 75002 Paris). The exhibit- if one can indeed call it that- runs from March 4th through the 5th from 12-9pm at Le Beverly.
Is it an exhibition, an auction, a retrospective, and fetishist’s fetish? Perhaps it is a little of all of these things & a little bit more. This creative crusade reinterprets vintage porn film posters with Margiela collectibles that include his most well-known pieces- which are also available to be purchased. Offerings also include the rare pieces that are larger than life, courtesy of vintage legends Quidam de Delight.- sold exclusively by Byronesque. Definitely a new and innovative way to look at fashion and commerce.