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Martin Margiela: In His Own Words

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Germany, Belgium · 2020
1h 30m
Director Reiner Holzemer
Starring Martin Margiela, Jean Paul Gaultier, Carine Roitfeld, Cathy Horyn
Genre Documentary

In 2008, visionary designer Martin Margiela left the fashion world for good. Throughout his career the Belgian designer remained anonymous, refusing interviews and never being photographed, leading some to call him the fashion world’s Banksy. Now, more than a decade later, Margiela digs into his personal archives to reflect on his career and legacy.

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What are critics saying?


The Hollywood Reporter by Frank Scheck

Those not enthralled by Margiela's wittily iconoclastic but gimmicky avant-garde designs (and I must confess to being one of them) will probably find this documentary less than compelling. Like so many fashion-themed docs, Martin Margiela: In His Own Words will play best to afficionados who will be grateful for this insightful look at its reclusive subject.


Variety by Jessica Kiang

The grandest irony to emerge is that despite its unquestionable sincerity, soft-spoken iconoclast Martin Margiela’s insistent non-image may yet turn out to be fashion’s canniest bit of image-making of all.

75 by Matt Fagerholm

Like the director’s 2017 profile of Dries Van Noten, Martin Margiela: In His Own Words explores how its titular subject is driven by ideas rather than ego or a desire for stardom.


The Guardian by Peter Bradshaw

Reiner Holzemer has made a film that is intensely supportive and uncritical – as fashion documentaries tend to be – and to those of us who are outside the fashion world, it can be a bit opaque. Yet it is refreshing to hear creativity discussed with such seriousness and commitment.


IndieWire by Ryan Lattanzio

While Margiela’s visions likely deserve a more radical treatment onscreen, Holzemer’s film offers perhaps the most complete insight yet into one of fashion’s most elusive geniuses.


The Observer (UK) by Simran Hans

The use of the notoriously media-shy Margiela’s warm, serious spoken voice helps to create intimacy, even though we never see his face.


Time by Stephanie Zacharek

Here, the effect of merely hearing his voice and watching his hands is so intimate that we walk away with an almost tactile sense of who Martin Margiela is, the way we confidently, yet only sort of, know what the man in the moon looks like. His mystery becomes our secret too.

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