New directions for McQueen

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When Two Trends Merge

In my last blogpost I mentioned, that couture and deconstruction start merging together. During the past year I observed some designers somehow balanced the couture-look and deconstruction differently. One of those designer houses is Alexander McQueen. McQueen founded his label in 1992. Sarah Burton worked as his right hand since 1996, taking the place of creative direction after his death in 2010.

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Womenswear Spring/Summer 2018 – showing deconstructed trenchcoats while sending vibes from romantic past decades.

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Womenswear Spring/Summer 2018 – deconstructed corset holding an opulent gown, ending in  floral embroidery, swirling around the glossy & edgy boots.

When I saw the latest collection from Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen (Womens Spring/Summer 2018), I felt was surprised. She incorporates deconstruction in traditional looking dresses. She gives us something our eyes have to take a look at twice, because at first sight it’s hard to directly understanding how it’s made. What I mean by that? Traditional silhouettes and ruffle-dominated looks remind of romantic past decates. Our eye is used to see well cut corsets and gowns. When a certain part of a well-known piece of clothing is being deconstructed, the eye has to rethink it’s hitherto first impression which it automatically would associate with. That’s what Burton did in her collection for McQueen. As I already mentioned in my last post Vetements, Balenciaga or the Andwerp Six are known for using the deconstruction and deforming trend since the 80s. But there was always something old, scrapped, the “ugly broken up” to it. Burton now played the rules to her advantage, incorporating the deconstruction trend to pretty couture-like but shrill outfits.

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Alexander McQueen Ready-to-Wear A/W 2008 – obvious opulence.

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Alexander McQueen Ready-to-Wear A/W 2009 – emotion overload.

A Little Remark:

When I let my eyes wander through Alexander McQueens collections, before he died, there’s extremely more tearing emotions to it, then in Burtons collections. When I look at his creations, I always get the imagination of him, pulling his deep feelings to the outside. McQueen’s last collection (presented after his death in 2010) was inspired by Byzantine art and paintings. The dresses made the models look like angels, as if McQueen knew, that death was coming… Journalists have spun several stories around the intention of his collection.

The outfits from his days are sometimes not even wearable on the streets because of their opulence. It’s like an emotion overload. That’s what determined his collections and gave them this typical McQueen authenticity. Burton on the other hand now seems to do collections, that are more on the very pretty side plus wearable. Honestly I like very pretty stuff by the way. But what a violence of dignity to Alexander McQueen would it be, if anyone could sacrifice his emotion overload equally to McQueen himself?

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The McQueen collection was shown after his death in 2010. It’s inspired by Byzantine art and paintings.

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