a Maison Martin Margiela Book will do too.

since 2009 will probably forever be known at the year of the "big recession", i would totally understand if santa couldn't afford an US$850 (excl. shipping costs) bag. i'm a reasonable girl, really. so, to santa and all my dear loved ones living in greener pastures, here's what would make me as equally happy...

the recently released Maison Martin Margiela Book. now, i know it's become rather common, if not mandatory, for design houses to have a book or two to their name, but it's a completely different ball game with this specific design house.

Maison Martin Margiela prefers to be known as a collective, as opposed to being represented by a single face (i.e. Karl Lagerfeld for Chanel, Christopher Bailey for Burberry or Stella McCartney for Stella McCartney, etc.). Martin Margiela refuses to be photographed, filmed or interviewed and till this day, their is still no record of Martin Margiela - the man himself, or his thoughts or opinions. he, or rather, they believe that the process of designing, say... a pair of shoes or even the button on a coat is a group initiative - someone comes up with the concept/design, someone translates that concept/design from an idea to a drawing, someone creates the prototype, someone makes the tweaks and then the final product is made - passing through a number of hands and machines before being styled on a model/packed neatly for transportation. the truth of the matter is, that with any high-end fashion product, the chances that the designer of that brand has physically touched the product are relatively small.

back when i was "slaving" at British ELLE, Rebecca (the fashion features editor) did a feature on MMM. she had to fax through her questions to "the collective". they answered the questions in a group and faxed it back to us. i had to simply type out the hand-written answers from the fax copy. deep down, i wondered why all design houses didn't do this. it would definitely have made my life easier. none of that play-stop-rewind -play-listen-pause-now-was-that-"creative genius"-or-"tiny penis" nonsense. the bigger picture is that Martin Margiela doesn't believe that what lands up on the MMM catwalk at the start of every season is due to the workmanship of one man and therefore the credit doesn't belong solely to him. why should he, alone, be doing shoots with ELLE or interviews with the New York Times?

the information that the world has on MMM and the man, Martin Margiela is extreeeeemely limited. aside from their seasonal collections, this book is no doubt the most public extension of themselves that the design house has ever offered to us... and wouldn't it just be plain rude of us not to accept?

unfortunately, the book is yet to reach our southern shores. the last major, international fashion book release was probably Scott Schuman's The Sartorialist Book, which isn't even (at the time of writing this) stocked by South Africa's largest book store chain. we only have A-Store to thank for jumping on that bandwagon. maybe, they would like to jump on this one too? especially, since the chances that Exclusive Books will clue-up on what they should be stocking on their fashion shelves is as slim as the slice of cake Carine Roitfeld eats at her birthday party.

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