"Tomorrow I'll be famous forever." With those words scrawled graffiti-like by Dutch artist Selwyn Senatori on the back of her Sunaj jacket, Sonya Molodetskaya epitomized the chic irony of Maison Margiela's new boutique on Maiden Lane at its recent opening party.
Martin Margiela himself eschewed fame. When he quietly left the fashion business in 2009, one suspected the company he created would fade away. But with John Galliano now Maison Margiela's creative director, that's not going to happen.
Sonya Molodetskaya and the scene at Margiela (photos: Damion Matthews, Instagram, Drew Altizer)
Fans of both John Galliano and Martin Margiela have gone years without new designs from either man, making this moment particularly exciting for them as they see Galliano's vision of the Margiela style unfold.
On Sunday at the "Vogue Festival" in London, Galliano spoke about his new role. "I had the fortune to meet Martin. It was an amazing experience that really energized me," he said.
"I love exploring the DNA that he laid out, but while one must respect the heritage of a label, you can't be a slave to it, which happened a lot at Dior and at Galliano. When I first started, I spent a lot of time trying to understand what it felt to wear Margiela today. It's very interesting, the invisible man element. But I'm just going to take it day by day."
Maison Margiela at 134 Maiden Lane
Judging by the packed opening of the Maison Margiela boutique, there are plenty of people eager to go on Galliano's journey with him—people who know a thing or two about design, including art consultant Sabrina Buell and award-winning industrial designer, Yves Béhar, who cohosted the opening party with Alicia Engstrom and Jawbone founder Hosain Rahman in honor of the CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts.
They were joined by other leading figures in art and design, such as Rico Zorkendorfer (who has been part of Apple's elite industrial design team for over a decade), gallerist Jessica Silverman, renowned sociologist and art commentator Sarah Thornton, It couple Sarah and Brad Somberg (owner of design firm B+N Industries), art collector Norman Stone, artist Michelle Tholen, interior designer Maca Huneeus, and art photographer Victoria Miller.
The fashion world was also well represented, with guests such as Isly Handbag founder Sobia Shaikh; Ursa Major jewelry designer Kate Jones; style writers Jennifer Raiser, Lauren Goodman, Kathleen Ensign and Anastasia Bachykala; designer Olya Dzilikhova; and the fabulous Pakzad sisters (Roya and Ronak).
Ronak Pakzad in Margiela (photo: Instagram/ronakpakzad)
Guests marveled at the boutique's witty yet sophisticated design, with its surrealist trompe-l'œil effects on the walls, plush carpeting made to resemble hard marble, and on the second floor, a red couch which took its inspiration from Salvador Dali's famous portrait of Mae West.
Mark our words, the red couch at Maison Margiela will become the most Instagram'd item of furniture in San Francisco this year! Tomorrow it too will be famous forever.
Visit Maison Margiela at 134 Maiden Lane, San Francisco.
Photos: Drew Altizer, unless otherwise noted.