Now that the storm of fanatical outbursts over Alexander McQueen’s Paris Spring 2010 collection has settled, it’s safe enough to enter the field and actually say something about it.
Not having seen the live-streaming show due millions upon millions of people logging on to SHOWstudio.com to watch, I felt defeated. It was like I was Carrie and someone dumped a bucket of pig’s blood on me.
Okay. It wasn’t that serious. But trying to log on to that site to watch the show was a pain.
When I finally saw the reposted video, I was transported to his show affectionately called, “Plato’s Atlantis.” Stingray silhouettes dominated the runway while short skirts stamped with trademark McQueen tailoring were drenched in outsized aquatic Rorschach reptilian blots.
Washed out with alien-like makeup, the models donned menacing fins for hair. All the while, they hobbled gracefully like extra terrestrial sea nymphs in shoes that were a steroid-infused mash-up of ballerina pointe shoes and crab claws – something a hot stripper in Atlantis would wear.
Although part of me was hoping that one of them would take a glorious fall to quench my thirst for low brow entertainment, my mind was racing at what was being poured out on that runway. It was as if the land and merpeople of The Little Mermaid were invaded by glamazon, Predator-like sea creatures and forced to drop E and have a week-long rave (not of the LovEvolution variety).
I’ll spare you the “brilliant” and “cutting edge” praises that this collection deserves. The world knows that McQueen is talented. You mention the name and all the “passion for fashion” types will admire his work. He can design, cut, elevate taste levels and give an electric shock of inspiration. When people go outside of the box, McQueen finds an area within that outside that hasn’t been touched and stakes his claim with quiet and clever certainty.
The reason why people got all a twitter (and yes, many people were tweeting about this) with this collection of sartorial sea life is because it was a enriching eyegasm. Yes, McQueen can design, but with a Hans Christian Andersen-like sensibility, he has the ability to captivate you into his world of provoking fantasy. Whether it is a sumptuous, eye-popping scaly rainbow fish dress or smooth-as-sharkskin trousers, he makes you see what he sees and finds a way to do it without being literal, self-indulgent or crazy with avant garde malarky.
The collection was serene, dangerous, balanced and had this edge that quietly gave other designers the middle finger. It was also a challenge to the world of fast fashion retailers that said, “Go ahead – just try and make a derivative of this.” Seeing an H&M knock-off of his shoe that looked like a fossilized prehistoric fish would definitely be a hoot.
See the entire collection at Style.com