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The Story Behind The Garment: FW1993-94 'Artisanal' dress by Maison Martin Margiela

Dress with flower motifs on a mannequin
Maison Martin Margiela, Artisanal dress, A/W 1993-94
Monica Ho

Artist and model Kristina De Coninck worked for designers like Martin Margiela, Dries Van Noten, Walter Van Beirendonck and Jean Paul Gaultier. She also recently modelled for Marine Serre, Lemaire and Zara.

At each of Martin's shows we were given a plastic cup of red wine before things kicked off. There was an amazing ambiance backstage! Martin always said “Allez Kristientje” before I took to the catwalk. I remember that he once let me do the catwalk in bare feet, with my shoes around my neck. I really loved it. During the fittings I always admired how Martin used his hands, how he touched and folded the fabrics, as well as his thought and decision-making process.

“This ‘Artisanal’ dress is made from a variety of recycled vintage dresses from the 1940s which Martin found at flea markets. The right dress in blue-grey silk crepe is printed with sprigs of pink and white flowers, and the beige dress on the left half is printed with black flowers. At the bottom there are two different rows of floral motifs added to extend the length of the dress."

Detail of the underside of the Artisanal dress with flower motifs
Maison Martin Margiela, Artisanal dress, FW 1993-94
Monica Ho
Shoulder/sleeve detail of Artisanal dress. Layered sleeve with flower motifs
Maison Martin Margiela, Artisanal dress, A/W 1993-94
Monica Ho

"Martin gave me this garment as a surprise after the show for the Autumn-Winter 1993-94 collection. I was incredibly touched by this gift because he had picked out the colours especially for me. I remember that I once wore the dress when visiting him at home. I took the bus from Place de Clichy. It was a hot summer's day and I felt like the only woman in Paris to be wearing a long dress. The garment was rather transparent, so I usually wore it with a petticoat. Martin's garments always gave me the feeling I could be myself.”

Photo of Kristina in the FW1993-94 'Artisanal' dress in her parents' garden
Photo of Kristina in the A/W 1993-94 'Artisanal' dress in her parents' garden
Kristina De Coninck / Kitayama Tatsuya
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