Monday, October 8, 2007

Imaginary Friends in High Places

Ooooh! Look what my buddy Alexander McQueen made for me!

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Look at it up close:

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And from the back...

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Honestly, I don't think I've seen many things more beautiful than this dress. Once again, McQueen has created a garment that raises a positive bloodlust in me. Looking at this dress gives me the same feelings that werewolves must get when the full moon rises: I want to howl and run mad, I want to wear that dress so badly it's painful, down in my gut. This, too:

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That blouse is so beautiful I could cry. I adore this silhouette, the 1940s/Blade Runner/geisha look of it. So elegant.

This collection was a tribute to the late, great Isabella Blow, who passed away this year. Isabella Blow discovered and nurtured McQueen, they were friends and she was a source of inspiration to him. She played the same role for Philip Treacy, the Mad Hatter millinery genius who was responsible for Blow's always-wonderful headgear and for the hats in this particular show. Treacy took a bow along with McQueen after this show, and quite rightly so, I think. Absolute works of art, these things.

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A cloud of butterflies. Can you imagine? I know this is a showpiece, but honestly, I would wear that hat. I have no idea where, but given the opportunity I would swan around wearing that and a beatific smile on my face. I cannot imagine it possible to be anything other than giddy with happiness while wearing one's own private flock of butterflies.

This would also make me smile:

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Actually, perhaps not. That would more likely make me purr in a sultry manner, my eyes narrowed as I surveyed the room, searching for my next victim. Granted, once I found him, I wouldn't be able to have dinner with him -- imagine navigating those sleeves around your mesclun salad. No, this is strictly a cocktail-drinking dress, meant for breathtaking entrances and irresistible languid posing on the sofa. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

So here's something a bit more practical:

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Good googly-moogly, would you look at the shape of that jacket? Look at the waist, and the curve of the hip. McQueen's jackets are always good

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He got his start on Savile Row and his tailoring shows it. I have a velvet jacket of his that's cut like the shorter one above, and wearing that thing is as good as wearing a corset, the way it creates this tiny little nipped-waist and perfectly balanced hourglass silhouette. Look at this one:

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Wow. And please note the detailing of that neckline:

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Feathers. Tiny little dyed feathers instead of a ruffle. Have you ever seen anything more beautiful?

McQueen uses feathers and wing imagery a lot in his work, and sometimes it's fierce

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and sometimes just poetically lovely

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I'm really moved by Alexander McQueen's clothes. There's something so unrepentantly passionate about them -- I really get the feeling that I have a good idea of who this man is from looking at the clothing he designs, and I just love that. He seems like someone for whom beauty is one of the prime motivators for living, and his definitions of what is beautiful can be strange and challenging. I love the way he ebbs and flows in his design, stretching out in new directions and then coming back to things he's used before and finding new ways to present them. I think his designs must be very personal, and that they reveal a person I would like a great deal. Look at this dress:

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Cathy Horyn wrote about this dress in her New York Times review of this collection:
"In the front of a chic black sequined dress, its image traced in gold beads that were partly concealed by the sequins, was a portrait of Ms. Blow by the photographer Steven Meisel. You could see it only from an angle."

How lovely.

So is this lovely

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Wildly, distractingly, jaw-droppingly so. Going on record here and saying that this is the It Shoe of Fall 2008. Oh, child, fetch me my salts -- the snub toe and the skinny heel and the tiny hint of toe cleavage... I am definitely going to need a pair of these shoes. (Better start saving now, I reckon.)

Actually, there were a LOT of mesmerizing shoes in this show -- so many that they're going to get a post all to themselves in a day or two. Stay tuned.

In the meantime, go take a look at the complete collection and tell me what you think. And Alexander? (Al? Alex? Ally?) I'm going to be in London for a few days in November. I would really, really love to buy you a drink and find out all about you. Let's go somewhere dim & clubby with great big comfy chairs. You can tell me about your best friends and why you love them, and your favorite meals, and the books you read when you need to relax, and what your favorite smells are. We'll talk poetry and romance and why wearing a beautiful dress makes getting out of bed in the morning worthwhile.

I'll try not to swoon.

Photos: Style.com

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5 comments:

Deb-ct said...

I haven't been an avid McQueen fan prior to this, but your post certainly directed (and opened) my eyes to the gorgeous craftmanship and unique details of his work. The tribute to I. Blow...lovely.

Anonymous said...

I still love Jean Paul Gautier more so sorry dear Aim. I am not in love with Mac's dresses . But From the butterfly hat down I could die for one of his coats. I am been searching and searching for a perfect coat this year . And he has done them ..gorgeous. Can you really see me a 5 foot er wearing his dress? LOL or that shoe , sorry but it is horrid. Which is odd for me as I love toe cleavage ,but I am translating it to a size 5 Hum that does take a lot away from the beauty . One day my dear I hope Mac Queen sees your passion and bequeaths you a dress..k

Anonymous said...

Holy God that first dress is stunning. It literally makes me quivery. Wow.

Oddly, I was struck by an unquenchable desire for silk robes with japanese-style sleeves in August, and bought a couple in San Francisco's chinatown. But of course they're nothing like these creations.

V.

Icy said...

The shoes are really somthing else!

r sorrell said...

While I don't do feathers, the detail that's gone into his dresses is amazing. The tailoring on the coats is beautiful. I love the dress with the silhouttes on the drip-dyed(?) fabric. And I totally agree with you on the shoes, too. Love. I'll be looking for a knock-off.