When Fashion designer Martin Margiela’s moved into his 3000 square foot studio in Paris in 2oo4, it was in extraordinary disarray.When Margiela took it over his in 2004, it was in disarray. Built in the 18th century, evidence of its history was everywhere. He preserved a lot of the detail and turned the entire space white. All the furniture, from armchairs to tables to chandeliers, is draped in white cloth, all notebooks are covered in the same material.
What interests us is the KIND of white paint Margiela chose for the walls, and the reasons why.
“There are two reasons for white – one practical, one conceptual,” a Margiela spokesperson told Susannah Frankel of Another Magazine. “When Jenny (Meirens, the label’s cofounder) and Martin started out they collected furniture from all over the place. They had no money and it was all in different styles, so to make it seem coherent it was all painted white.”
According to Frankel:
Of course, not just any old white will do. White emulsion is chosen to paint all surfaces for two reasons, both for its matt finish, and the fact that it is impossible to clean – any wear and tear caused by daily comings and goings are therefore left to tell their story for posterity. Paint is never applied to the whole space at the same time, so some of the rooms are almost yellow with age, while others are pristine in appearance – well, not quite.
Margiela’s carefully-planned evidence-preserving paint is the OPPOSITE of what most people try to achieve and maintain when painting a space white. It allows for a layered patina to build. To us, NOT trying to keep white pristine, but purposely planning for it showing of the life around it, is incredibly liberating