The store concept is designed by Dutch architect Studio Anne Holtrop and reflects the evolved visual language established at the house by creative director John Galliano. Holtrop’s design was first introduced in the gypsum-cast set at the Artisanal Autumn/ Winter 2018 show, and it interprets the Maison’s iconoclast codes in façade and interiors. The store is an abstracted and inviting environment rooted in the notion of appropriating the inappropriate. The 115-square meter boutique displays the complete range of Maison Margiela’s Co-Ed collections, men’s and women’s ready to wear, accessories, shoes, small leather goods, as well as jewelry, eyewear and fragrances.
At the Harbour City Gateway Arcade store, the defining structures of architecture – walls and columns – appear as detached objects. Artisanal furnishings reflect and alter ideas of familiarity. Familiar shapes skew in form, as they lean and fold around the demarcation of the space, drawing on ideas of dressing in haste native to Maison Margiela’s vocabulary. Handcast individually in textile molds, the surfaces of the plaster walls and columns retain the memory of fabric texture, sculpting dents, and evoke the notion of an irreproducible handspun tactility. The store encourages the human touch that created it. Retained in their natural shade of plaster – the humble inside of a wall – the structures reflect the practice of anonymity of the lining, the house term for revealing the inside of a garment traditionally concealed and revealing the inner workings.
The plaster’s natural tonality further echoes the signature white of Maison Margiela. Misfit furniture is designed in the memory of classic objects, deconstructed in form. The technique of décortiqué further materializes in shelves, display tables and seats carved in stained travertine, the natural indentations filled with colour-contrasting epoxy resin in optical white. The ceilings and walls of fitting rooms – the most personal inner sanctums of a store – painted in a dark-green high gloss almost black, creates a deep shimmering shine echoed in Japanese lacquer cabinets, conveying sentiments of glamour and the feelings of allure and familiarity that it generates. This is Maison Margiela’s first store in Hong Kong with the new store concept. Anne Holtrop’s store concept for Maison Margiela debuted with the Bruton Street store in London, followed by Avenue Montaigne in Paris, Osaka Shinsaibashi Parco, Japan, Shanghai Reel and now Hong Kong.