Tuesday, March 17, 2009

L'Enfant Terrible is Back in Full Force

(Pictures via Style.com)

I have loved Alexander McQueen for a long time and his Fall 2009 collection just reinforced my adoration for him. There are so many things I loved about his collection so I am going to have to organize my thoughts in list format:
  1. The derelict factor- Zoolander is deifinitely in my top 10 movies so I thought it was great how he used this to showcase the theme of reinvention. The runway was covered in shattered glass and in the middle was a heap of 'trash' which was actually a pile of discarded props from McQueen's past shows. This theme carried onto the clothes as well with voluminously tiered cocktail dresses that appeared to be made of trash bags and headpieces constructed out of aluminum cans.
  2. The combination of design elements- I loved the main color scheme of red, black and white, it led well to the severity of the collection. The patterns were also magnificent. Most were over-sized and cartoonish, from the houndstooth, to stripes to my absolute fave-the MC Escher inspired prints of birds that morphed into houndstooth. McQueen also utilized a range of textures from hard to soft. There was leather, hardware, and chainmail emphasize his tough egde, but he also went to other extreme by bringing in one of his favorite more gentle textures, with the use of feathers.
  3. Reinvention- this was the reigning theme of the show and it went beyond just reinventing past trends. McQueen commented on the speed of the ever-changing fashion industry which expects designers to reinvent every few months. We saw him rework many aspects from his past (chainmail, feathers, biker look, well-tailored coats) and from others designers including, the Chanel tweed suit, Dior's New Look, Givenchy's LBD, and YSL's wrap dress. This theme emphasized that nothing is truly new as it is always connected to the past in some way. So though McQueen might not have shown anything 'new' this appears to be his point, as Sarah Mower from Style.com brilliantly explains, "This was a McQueen collection that didn't push fashion anywhere new. Yet that seemed to be exactly one of the things he was pointing to: the state of a collapsed economy that doesn't know how to move forward".
  4. The rebellious showman- this is definitely one of the main reasons I have always loved McQueen-I am always attracted to the bad boy. And this season he really returned to his roots and reinforced why he got his name-l'enfant terrible. The clothes were severe yet had a hint of comedy and twisted beauty (pretty ugly is one of my new fave things). And though in the end they were not very wearable, as I'm sure McQueen didn't intend them to be, they are art that is meant to inspire. Personally that is what I look for in McQueen's collections, I can't afford high-end designers so I look to them more for captivation, awe, and inspiration, and perhaps in this economic recession where many can't afford luxuries, McQueen aimed to do just this. With other designers this season cutting back to basics and sensible styles, McQueen gave us a breathtaking show that made us think. And though severe and harsh at times, the collection also gave us that little bit of hope that in dark times there can still be dreams and fantasy!

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