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McQueen sends out darkly sublime collection

 A model wears a creation by British fashion designer Alexander McQueen as part of his Fall-Winter 2009-2010 ready-to-wear collection in Paris, Tuesda...

FRANCE FASHION

A model wears a creation by British fashion designer Alexander McQueen as part of his Fall-Winter 2009-2010 ready-to-wear collection in Paris, Tuesda...

Watching Alexander McQueen's darkly ingenious and bizarrely sublime pret-a-porter show, where beauty and ugliness met and mingled, it was hard not to conclude Tuesday that this was what fashion's all about.
A dress made entirely from slick black feathers, with oversized bouffant sleeves sculpted to suggest a swan hurtling into flight. A cocktail dress with a bust made of a jumble of leather straps and a full skirt of tight looping ruffles with a garbage-bag black sheen.
These were pieces that cried out to be worn _ with extravagance and wild abandon _ but probably belonged more in a museum than in a closet. It was fashion as art _ wearable art to be lusted after.
Working with a palette of graphic black, red and white, the British designer took tactful staples like the skirt suit and the strapless cocktail dress and pushed them beyond the boundaries of politeness.
He nipped the New Look suit's wasp-waist even further, inflated its square shoulders and fluffed up the crinoline skirts. He padded the cascading train of a strapless evening gown until its skirts turned into a sort of bean bag that the model struggled to lug around the runway.
The black and white houndstooth checks that opened the show gave way to a red and black M.C. Escher-inspired print of ducks in flight that morph into houndstooth. McQueen also heaped on metalwork-studded hardware and feathers.
Hats made from open umbrellas, lampshades or a sculpture of found objects wrapped in clear plastic film topped off the looks.
Models, their faces covered in white and their mouths an oversized smear of red lipstick, picked their way around a huge pile of stylized rubbish in the middle of the catwalk and stopping in front of the photographers, leered.
The show, held at an ice stating rink in eastern Paris, garnered an unusually positive response from the normally fickle crowd of fashion insiders. Instead of clapping tepidly as they do at most shows, even strong ones, they exploded into whistles and cheers of enthusiasm after McQueen's breathtaking display.


Updated : 2021-08-04 20:48 GMT+08:00