Runway Rundown: Art After Death
Even death can’t stop the artistic voice of fashion designer Alexander McQueen.
Last week, a quiet boutique in the Francois-Henri Pinault headquarters in Paris presented McQueen’s final line created just weeks before he died.
For McQueen, the collection, which he called “Angels and Demons,” was a return to his roots by incorporating his traditional styles and romanticized medieval designs. It’s fitting that such a summary of a designer’s life work is released now that he’s left fashion forever.
Like all of his work, the collection’s 16 pieces contain plenty of detail behind rich colors and an aura of elegance that made each article a work of art.
Each piece was cut by McQueen. Inspirations for the line included distinguished artists like Sandro Botticelli and Hans Memling, according to thedailytruffle.com.
The pieces, consisting of digitally captured artwork – including religious iconography – were printed on fabrics and given volume through precise folds and cuts, illuminating a multi-dimensional view. It’s a look of historical European artwork paired with modern fashion.
The collection was nearly complete at the time of McQueen’s suicide, but his design team added finishing touches.
Models in a Paris fashion show bore plain faces and nude head caps – some resembling war helmets with Mohawk-style feathers – which directed focus to the clothing. Golden feathers were also precisely placed on some garments, and Venetian capes gave many of the pieces a breathtaking effect.
McQueen – who considered himself a fashion anarchist – aimed to touch more than one’s fashion sense, and engaged the fashion world in political, religious and symbolic thought with his fabric collections.
The show was as much about him as it was about his clothing.
But his shows were always more than just runway shows, featuring storylines intended to bring a message through each collection – many of which caused controversy in the past, like his 1995 line, “Highland Rape.”
The line was misinterpreted as a negative portrayal of women instead of McQueen’s intended goal of raising rape awareness.
PPR, the company who owns half of McQueen’s McQ line, will continue to pursue licensing agreements and make way for ready-to-wear denim, underwear and swimwear with Albisetti SpA, according to The Boston Globe.
PPR intends to continue under McQueen’s name and to uphold his creative style but, despite rumors, has not decided on a successor.
Though the iconic designer has passed, McQueen’s life and designs will be remembered.