"By not showing his identity, I think that Martin Margiela became more exciting," fashion critic Suzy Menkes says in the trailer for The Artist Is Absent: A Short Film On Martin Margiela. "People wondered what he was like. There was a mystery that surrounded him." One of the main themes of the new documentary about the famously anonymous designer looks at the ways in which his mystique and concealment have enhanced his undeniable talent. In an age where designers have become celebrities in their own right,
the film is an interesting exploration of an artist who prefers to let
his creations speak for themselves. Not surprisingly, the film, which was directed by Alison Chernick and produced by the YOOX Group, doesn't feature any interviews with the Margiela himself but instead includes little-seen archival footage from previous runway shows and conversations with fashion designers and critics like Menkes, Jean Paul Gaultier, Raf Simons and Patrick Scallon, the former Director of Communications for the label who currently holds that role at Dries van Noten. And although he's not shown in the doc, Chernick told the The Cut that she was able to get Margiela's participation and approval -- the designer hand-selected several of the people speaking on-camera. There will be several screenings of the short in NYC this week as part of the Tribeca Film Fest and it'll get a wider release on April 27th.