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Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Alexander McQueen, Spring/Summer 2012.

My final S/S 2012 Fashion Week post! I'm now taking suggestions as to what I should write about after this. Ben-Seven suggested the theme of "top five movies, judging by costumes", which sounds damn near impossible because there are just so many choices. Although the #1 movie I saw this week was the Three Musketeers, which went something like this: 25% Orlando Bloom and Milla Jovovich gleefully over-acting at one another, 25% WTF airships, 25% D'Artagnan being unbearable, and 25% OMG THOSE DOUBLET & HOSE ARE AMAZING. Unfortunately, I think most of this film's audience were pre-teens and their parents who took the opportunity to nap for two hours in the cinema, so the internet is yet to provide me with the hi-res screencaps I've come to expect thanks to my recent cinematic diet of superhero movies with intense fanbases. Anyway, if you have any particular fashion-blogging requests, comment/message me! :)

McQueen wasn't as dazzling as last season, but this show definitely stretched the limits of "Ready To Wear". With this level of intricate beadwork, stitching and lace, Alexander McQueen is almost filling the gap left by the financial dissolution of Christian Lacroix last year.
Glam Batgirl.
This season, McQueen combines extreme feminity with monstrousness. Sarah Burton seems to have included fewer animalistic influences in this show than can be seen in some of McQueen's own later collections, but the masks and headdresses still lend an air of the sinister. Alexander McQueen designs have always been brilliant when it comes to evoking aggression without resorting to an appearance of masculinity.

pics from
With a lot of Sarah Burton/McQueen designs, you get the impression that if you kept zooming in on them then you'd uncover more and more levels of detail. This year the beaded masks were amazing, somehow managing to combine sparkly prettiness with the appearance of barnacles or some kind of organic growth.
(mask close-ups from
Like Chanel, this show was based around an ocean theme, with frothy jellyfish dresses and hints of coral. I find it difficult to judge McQueen on the same terms as most designers, however, since most of these clothes are more suited to display rather than everyday life. Much Chanel's S/S 2012 collection was perfectly wearable -- providing you're richer than god and never go anywhere near dirt or cold weather -- but McQueen's gowns and masks are more suited to photoshoots, the occasional Lady Gaga video, and the New York Met's Savage Beauty exhibit.
Most of the looks were so ostentatious that they were Ready To Wear in name only, but that's very much in-keeping with McQueen's designs in the past. McQueen is one of the few major fashion houses that despite the economic downturn, continues to make art for art's sake rather than toning themselves down in the name of saleability -- and that's certainly worked out for them, because collections like this are headline grabbers and Sarah Burton was the one to make Kate Middleton's wedding dress this year. Why can't more designers go all-out like this?


  1. This is truly the stuff of nightmares. Just...why?

  2. But it's so beautiful! Look at the work that went into all the details! Do you get quite unsettled when people's faces are covered?

  3. I love everything and I want ALL OF IT. (Except for the open-toed shoes I spy.)

    Did I tell you I ordered the Savage Beauty book? BECAUSE I TOTALLY DID.

    And "intense fanbases" is a nice euphemistic description for comicbook/superhero film nerds. Emphasis on "intense".


    hey i love me some intense fanbases, dude. they are perfectly willing to upload itemised and detailed screencaps of an entire movie three hours after it's released in theatres. unlike the three musketeers -- when you search THAT on tumblr, you end up with a billion pictures of the kid who played D'Artagnan, because apparently he's some kind of disney channel-esque tween heartthrob in America.

  5. I will be stroking it and calling it "My preciousssss", just you wait.

    Hey, I am pro intense fanbases. Also ugh, whatever that kid's name is.

  6. Yeah, I asked you to do it but I'm not sure I could manage it myself. Inception would be on the list of course, and Lord of the Rings judged as one. Probably Bright Star and The Royal Tenenbaums. Down with Love was amazing, In the Mood for Love ditto. Clueless cannot be ignored. And that's just the past twenty years off the top of my head. Don't even get me started on classic Hollywood and musicals.

    Maybe just do however many you like and don't worry about the ranking?

    As for the McQueen, I loved this take on the sea theme way more than what was offered by Chanel and Versace. I don't even mind the masks because they are clearly a runway thing and once you remove them a lot of the looks become much more wearable.

    Not sure about that dress that covers everything but her breasts, though. That's a step too far.

  7. i wonder what will happen to the masks now. will gaga buy them ALL? i hope SOMEBODY wears one in public.

  8. *recoils slightly*

    Okay, some of those masks/headpieces look like...i dunno. Alien zombies or something. They kind of creep me out.

    I do rather love the grey lace over white dress, and the frothy coral-colored one. And the black one, near the top, with the laced shoes. Very cool. But the masks kinda skeer me.

  9. I really like your description about it evoking aggression. The masks make me think of really cool helmets that wouldn't save my head in an accident, but anyways that gold one looks unreal. Though some of them make me think serial killer masks. >>

    I like the movie idea. Maybe you could also do an A-Z of designers you like?

  10. i'm kinda baffled re: that kid because in the movie he looks about 18 and apparently in real life he's 19, but in the tumblr red-carpet photos he looks about 11 and there are all these teenage girls like, DO ME ON IT. american tween heartthrob culture is weird.

  11. lol, you're actually not even the first person to comment saying that the masks are creepy and gross! i actually think they're beautiful, but i think a lot of people get weirded out by people's faces being covered.

  12. a-z of designers? TOO MANY, lol. i'm kinda tempted to do a post dedicated to hideous menswear, actually. ;) or else i'd just post a million pictures of mary katrantzou because she is a genius.

    have you ever seen pics from alexander mcqueen's Savage Beauty exhibit? there are these scary, claws-unsheathed undertones to so many of his designs.

  13. I'm not so much weirded out by the covered faces as i am weirded out by the fact they they look like they're covered in some kind of creeping alien chitin. I mean - the first one in particular looks *organic* and i'm having visions of her going backstage and it *won't come off*....!!!!

    So, yeah, very detailed and cool and all but...stop making me think of a creeping plague of the skin!

  14. Only 26...;D that'd be pretty awesome, though you shouldn't make women's fashion feel left out. though women probably have more wiggle room with clothing. :P
    I just looked mary up, and holy shit those prints. I think my retina's exploded a bit.

    Yeah I have, they are gorgeooous. So elegant too though. My friend got to go, but she said she couldn't see anything behind the crowds.

  15. you should check out some of mcqueen's REALLY animal-themed designs! :DD

  16. i just sometimes feel that when menswear designers experiment, they end up with ugly/ridiculous stuff more often than womenswear designers do. but that's probably just sexism in that menswear is always more conservative. also: ZOOLANDER.

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