Martin Margiela In His Own Words

Reiner Holzemer's film in Italian Première for FFFMilano 2021


On Saturday January 16th at 9 PM FFFMilano presents the Italian Première of "Martin Margiela: in his own words" (2019, English with Italian subtitles) by Reiner Holzemer. The screening will be followed by a conversation with the director. You can book your free seat on


Martin Margiela In His Own Words is a unique portrait of the biggest myth in fashion history. The designer still inspires many of his younger peers today but nobody knows his face. He remains a true enigma. In exclusivity for this documentary, he agrees to finally take the floor and guide us throughout his career and unveil some aspects of his youth.


Respecting Martin Margiela’s wish to remain anonymous, Director Reiner Holzemer gets as close as possible to the Belgian Fashion designer, born in 1957, who studied at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp at the same time as the “Six” and started his career as an assistant to Jean- Paul Gaultier. Bringing him to tell us what lead him to finally create his own company Maison Martin Margiela with Jenny Meirens as a business partner and, after 20 years and 41 provocative collections to change the course of his life and quit the fashion world. In silence. Without public announcement.


Margiela’s conceptual approach of fashion thoroughly challenged the aesthetic values of
the time. His way to design clothes meant to “dismantle” them, to wear the garments inside out, showing the linings and unfinished parts. He became famous as the master of “deconstruction”, disclosing the different stages of the handcraft process necessary to realize his designs: seams, threads, shoulder pads, simply everything that makes a garment. He liked to show unfinished elements and to cut his clothes in unexpected materials. He made sock sweaters, tops out of plastic grocery bags or covered dresses with plastic dry clean covers, supplying a breath of fresh air to the somewhat dusty fashion world of the 80’ies.


In the documentary, you'll discover or rediscover the pieces he designed for his house but also those he created for Hermès, one of the most traditional and conservative luxury goods institutions in France: two worlds that seem at the antipodes.

Anybody in search for “breaking the rules” heroes will admire Margiela’s stylistic ideas, his philosophy and the consistent attitude that enabled him to realize them. The ideas he developed decennia ago shocked the world then. Contemporary designers inspire themselves of the core DNA of his work season after season though. Shocking nobody anymore. "Maison Martin Margiela" has now become "Maison Margiela" with John Galliano as Head of Design perpetuating the brand.


Reiner Holzemer, who also directed and produced “Dries” (documenting fashion designer Dries
Van Noten), manages the challenge to draw a fascinating portrait of the “Banksy of Fashion”.
The designer’s hands and voice narrate an untold personal story. And that of a man whose oeuvre has simply become part of our everyday life and part of our cultural background. Pleasing, in that sense, even the non-fashion lovers.


The film features interviews of, among others, Jean Paul Gaultier, Carine Roitfeld, trend Forecaster Lidewij Edelkoort, Fashion Critic Cathy Horyn and Fashion Historian Olivier Saillard. The score has been composed by the Belgian rock band dEUS.

Opening times

Opening times:

9 PM

Ticket information

Ticket information:

Book your seat here!