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​new martin margiela documentary celebrates his genius

Raf, Gaultier and Suzy Menkes are talking heads in YOOX and Alison Chernick’s film, The Artist Is Absent.

Stuart Brumfitt

Showing at Tribeca Film Festival this week is a short film shining a light on the genius of Martin Margiela, who left his own label in 2009. The Artist Is Absent refers to the designer's insistence on anonymity and the cult he created around that. As Vogue's Suzy Menkes puts it in the film, "By not showing his identity, I think that MM became more exciting, people wondered what he was like. There was a mystery that surrounded him."

Along with beautiful archive footage of his shows and examples of his eye-opening talent (fabric face masks, white rope coats, giant duvet jackets), there are interviews with Raf Simons, Geert Bruloot (who discovered him) and Jean Paul Gaultier (who Margiela worked for from 1985 - 1987). The film has been produced by online retailer YOOX Group and directed by Alison Chernick, who made her mark through cultural documentaris on Jeff Koons, Matthew Barney and Roy Lichtenstein.

The full film will premiere on here later this month.