H&M Commandeers a Decaying Urban Landmark for Its Maison Martin Margiela Celebrations
Talk about vertical integration: H&M and Maison Martin Margiela spread the action across nine floors last night at 5 Beekman Street for one of the year's most memorable big-production bashes.
Other outfits (Proenza Schouler included) have rented out the spectacular downtown landmark lately, but never for anything this grandiose—or edgy. "I heard from someone who threw an event here that it can't handle more than 100 people per floor," Richard Chai confided. "So we're technically not in a safe place right now. We could die."
A fashionista could hardly pick a better way to go. In celebration of the Swedish retailer's new collection of archival Margiela pieces, the two fashion powerhouses put cast-iron ceilings, peeling walls, and dangling utility lights to maximum (and, appropriately, maximally deconstructive) effect. The result was part art installation, part marketplace. "The shopping's good!" one guest reported on her way down. With strict crowd control in place—waived, needless to say, for the likes of Sarah Jessica Parker and Kanye West—it was also an exercise in delayed gratification.
The venue's gaping atrium (reminiscent of those scary scenes in Vertigo) made for superb people-watching, not to mention great views of a dancer artfully shedding her Margiela Re-edition jacket and tracing foot patterns in white sand. The centerpiece performance, which came courtesy of noted choreographer Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker, ended in a shower of silver confetti. Where in the world was the famously elusive Margiela, who sold his namesake label in 2002 and is thought to have left it three years ago? Fellow Belgian Natalie Joos made an educated guess: "I heard from a good source that he's living on an island in the Mediterranean painting pictures."