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Harriet Quick talks old metro stations and Margiela

Our most recent Punk: On the Runway call is Margiela themed, following on nicely from last week's commentary from ShortList's Adrian Clark! While Clark waxed lyrical about the Maison Martin Margiela S/S 93 show, style writer and former Vogue fashion features editor Harriet Quick reminisces about Martin Margiela's haunting catwalk show from the year before, S/S 92.

'Off course he was showing in Paris very much under his own terms', explains Quick. 'The invitations were sent out to guests and press that invited them to go to not a conventional auditorium, but a disused subway in the outskirts of Paris - I'm sure you can imagine everyone's delight!'

The show is an example of Margiela at his best, though it's difficult to find much of a record of it online. Caroline Evans, in her brilliant book Fashion at the Edge, writes, 'Martin Margiela's Spring-Summer 1992 collection was shown in a disused Paris metro station, Saint Martin, that had been out of use since 1939. Its three main stair wells down which the models paraded were lit by 1,600 beeswax candles, stuck by their own wax to the metal handrails. The presentation was entirely new, revolutionary for a catwalk show, yet also old in its evocation of pre-war dereliction and its use of poetic urban spaces. This complex dialogue of past and present also incorporated a vision of the future in that Margiela's innovative way of showing clothes broke new ground in mapping out future possibilities for the catwalk show.'

Listen to Quick's take on the collection now!


  1. michelangelo
    22:10 19 Aug 2013
    He was a genius.
    Wish he still designed.
    Anybody know what he does now?
  2. Nick Knight
    00:20 22 Aug 2013
    I had not been on the tube since the Kings Cross fire in 1987, which I only missed by total chance, so I was a more than a little apprehensive about going down into the metro that evening.
    If you have ever been to a fashion show , especially a cult show , like Margiela was, you'll know the frenzy that happens just outside the entrance .It feels like people will actually kill to get in and if they don't succeed then life is no longer worth living.
    The scrum was so bad at the old art nouveau entrance into the metro, that in rash and irreversible decision, I decided to lift my girlfriend over the railings and jump in after her, thus missing the chaos.
    Once in, absolutely no way of getting back out.
    The show was being staged on the super cramped stairways leading down to a disused platform.
    All down the middle hand rail were hundreds of candles.
    Hot dry air wafted up the stairs.
    As the models started coming down, having to push their way past the journalists and frenzied fans that lined the walls, their dress virtually floating through the candle flames.and their huge hair, sprayed into place with tons of very flammable hairspray.
    I reconciled myself to the certainty that I was going to die in a french fashion version of Towering Inferno.
    Ah, fashion shows, just aren't what they used to be.