Obsession—true, bald, glaring, unrelenting full-on preoccupation—is endearing. There's something so
human about it, despite the person in the grip of the obsession's odd unhumanity: X. Must. Be. As. I. See. It!
You expect fashion designers—fashion people in general, even—to be obsessive. That's how they get where they go.
The Martin Margiela store in the West Village is a little whitewashed hole-in-the-wall full of cleanness and roughness and unassuming, quiet luxury. A person might knit some oatmeal-colored wool there, silently; an art project might result. Hemingway might sit at one of the rough-hewn tables before a lit candle and exalt.
The bottle of the new Margiela perfume is, unsurprisingly, gorgeous in its simplicity, and, also unsurprisingly, swiped with a big swirl of white paint. It's like nothing else you've ever smelled, unique and utterly fantastic: greeny-fresh, like a '70s sort of cologne, with smoky-wood-floor/exotic-spice-drawer elements to make it really entrancing. I was charmed. I spritzed wildly.
Before I left I stopped in the tiny store bathroom. It was not fancy, but it was, of course, white. Someone had washed some water glasses in the sink and left them to dry on a paper towel. (I'm trying to underline the non-fanciness here.) Beneath the sink were bottles of cleaning fluid: Windex, that sort of thing. Someone—someone obsessed—had painted them all white, carefully and perfectly. The names (Windex, et al.) were scrawled, artfully, in jet black Sharpie.
So: Obsessors, rejoice! Martha Stewart is not the only one, and neither are you.
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