We were stunned by the simple brilliance of clothing designer Martin Margiela‘s packing tape belt. He recognized the most ordinary of materials as the perfect width, texture, malleability to fulfill an instant need with astonishing style.

Martin Margiela Duct Tape Jacket via 1stdibs.com

In later collections, he’d play with the theme, using black duct tape to embellish and tailor suit jackets…


…and other tapes to provide a surprising element to his designs. It rather than sewn stitches provided instant form…


With assured, quiet, bravado, Margiela showed tape transformed as it transforms, expressive of his unique vision. It called to mind textile artist Anni Albers’ writing from her 1982 Essay, Material as Metaphor.

Most of our lives we live closed up in ourselves, with a longing not to be alone, to include others in that life that is invisible and intangible. To make it visible and tangible, we need light and material, any material. And any material can take on the burden of what had been brewing in our consciousness or subconsciousness, in our awareness or in our dreams.


ANY material, says Albers, can be used to express our hidden selves.

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