KCIDigital Archives

The KCI Digital Archives on the KCI website presents image and text information for the objects in the collection, arranged in chronological order.


© The Kyoto Costume Institute, photo by Yuji Ono

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Spring/Summer 2006

Martin Margiela
Maison Martin Margiela
0, 10
Waistcoat made of playing cards; lined with beige leather; beige silk belts at neck and back.
Inventory Number(s)
AC11625 2007-6-2AC

This waistcoat is made of ‘old’ playing cards. The deteriorated state of the cards was achieved through a painstaking aging process. First, cards were taken from various types of card decks and shuffled. The cards were degraded by being dyed, frayed, and ironed. Then they were spread out randomly and arranged in the shape of a waistcoat before being placed on a tailor’s mannequin torso and heated to fix the shape. This was then lined with soft leather. The whole process for creating this article of clothing, which could only be made by hand, took fourteen hours.

Martin Margiela was born in Belgium, and showed his collections in Paris from Spring/Summer 1989 onwards. He focused on using artisanal techniques to rework old clothes and worn-out items from everyday life into clothing and accessories. The fashion system in the latter part of the twentieth century prioritized the constant, efficient production of new ready-to-wear clothing, but Margiela’s method of creation urged a rethink of such practices, shaking entrenched values.

With the Autumn/Winter 2005 collection, Artisanal became independent from the prêt-à-porter line. As the key collection representing Margiela’s creativity, it was shown at the same time as haute couture collections. Product lines were categorized numerically. ‘0’ indicated the Artisanal line, and ‘10’ indicated a men’s collection, so ‘0, 10’ designates this waistcoat as part of the Artisanal men’s collection. Taking a further cue from haute couture, the production time required for each item was shown. Margiela’s retirement was confirmed in 2009, and John Galliano was appointed creative director in 2014. The brand name was changed to Maison Margiela, but the maison continues to use “Artisanal” as the name for its core collections.