Maison Margiela | #Tabiology Pop-up at South Coast Plaza

Featuring the Spring Summer '24 Haute Couture collection

Written by

Nick Hsu

Photographed by

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Styled by

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In the ethereal embrace of Maison Margiela's latest revelation, the Spring Summer '24 Haute Couture collection emerges, a luminous ode to the clandestine allure of Parisian nightclubs and the underground élan of the 20s and 30s. Here, the iconic Tabi, with its split-toe design that has become synonymous with Maison's avant-garde ethos, undergoes a metamorphosis. Through the lens of Hypno's pioneering AI, #Tabiology, the Tabi is reimagined, inviting us to delve into the realms of fantasy about the future incarnations of this emblematic silhouette.

Nestled within the luxurious confines of Jewel Court at South Coast Plaza in California, the #Tabiology pop-up serves as a gateway to a temporal voyage. This immersive experience ushers Tabi aficionados through the chronicles of this classic Maison symbol, tracing its lineage from its birth in 1989 to its current renaissance under the visionary guidance of Creative Director John Galliano. In this realm, the Maison's defiantly anti-conformist and conceptually charged designs are bestowed upon us, offering an invitation to explore the boundless possibilities of creation.

Marked by innovation and the spirit of the avant-garde from its inception in 1989, the Tabi's legacy is a testament to the fusion of traditional Japanese heritage—with its 17th-century origins in the split-toed socks worn by laborers—and the uncharted territories of AI-enhanced futures. The Jewel Court pop-up encapsulates a rich chronology of the Tabi's evolution, from the inaugural Tabi boot—with its nude calfskin facade sculpted to the foot's natural silhouette and perched upon a cylindrical heel mirroring the human form—to the 2022 reinterpretations. These include gender-neutral, platform sandals with wooden soles that weave the fantastical narratives of Dutch fishermen into the fabric of Margiela's maritime lore, alongside the Autumn/Winter 1991 clogs, the Spring/Summer 1996 invisible Tabis, and the 2014 Tabi ice skates, created in collaboration with John Wilson.

Within this sanctuary, digital stations beckon visitors to partake in the creation of their own unique digital Tabi. With a simple selfie and the spark of imagination guided by interactive prompts, patrons are invited to redefine the essence of anti-conformism and deconstructivism in a personal dialogue with fashion. #Tabiology heralds a new wave in the evolution of contemporary culture, challenging us to reconceptualize the paradigms of fashion itself. This is not merely an exhibition but a proclamation of freedom, a call to those who dare to redefine the boundaries of creativity and identity through the lens of Maison Margiela's unrivaled legacy. The pop up stays at the South Coast Plaza until Apr 15, 2024.

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Maison Margiela, Tabi, Pop-Up, California, John Galliano, Nick Hsu