6 March 2017

What Went Down at "Margiela Porn"

As if the Paris Fashion Week schedule isn't jam-packed enough, trust Byronesque to throw a Margiela pop-up shop spanner in the works. Planned to take place in Paris' Le Beverley Cinema, the last of the porn palaces in the City of Light, the pop-up celebrated the Maison Martin Margiela archive as well as the cinema’s place as a symbol of a fading subculture. The two-day event boasted over 300 rare pieces that punctuated every major collection from 1989-2000. If you're young, it was the chance to buy a snippet of fashion history that might even pre-date your birth and if you're older, it was a tempting second chance to get your hands on pieces that you regret allowing to pass you by.


Last minute and with no explanation, the location was changed from Le Beverley to 3 Rue Notre Dame de Bonne Nouvelle. While not the same level of seedy as the original spot, there was still a suggestive intrigue to the far from glamorous setting. If you aren't too familiar with Byronesque then let me fill you in; their personal shopper app launched around three years ago and sources specific items for clients from their network of both vintage boutiques and private collectors. Byronesque is basically a glistening treasure trove stacked with vintage gems from the likes of Comme des Garçons, Helmut Lang, Yohji Yamamoto and, of course, Margiela.


The idea of the pop-up was to create the feel of a fashion retrospective but have the opportunity to take more away home with you than your standard poster and tote bag situation. With that said, there was no "please don't touch" or impersonal distance between visitors and the pieces that we're only used to seing in mere photographs. “We don’t want it to feel like a museum, it’s still got to feel a bit more punk, which is how we always try and do things,” founder and CEO of Byronesque Gill Linton explained to AnOther Magazine.


The prices were expededly steep but the condition was mostly mint – in the rare occassion that the condition wasn't perfect, it would be in cases like the odd pair of Tabi shoes that are slightly scuffed and have a random name scrawlled on the botton. It then became clear that it was the light scuff of a walk down the catwalk and the name belongs to the girl who took them for a spin down the runway. Perhaps than in itself makes the hefty price tag seem that little bit lighter.


Word on the street is that Byronesque plans to shower us with vintage pop-ups in the same vein as this, focusing on YSL, Tom Ford-era Gucci and Vivienne Westwood amongst others. It'll be interesting to see what narrative they conjure up for each of the aforementioned brands and how they manipulate location to build into the interactivity of the concept. Standing against the mediocrity of pop culture, Byronesque provided a more meaningful alternative to fast-fashion and outdated nostalgia with their own branch of carefully curated "contemporary vintage".