I have always found it entertaining to try to visually imagine a person based merely on their name with no other evidence of their character. Immediately I conjure vivid details of the color of their hair, their choice of shoes, what type of accent they may have, sometimes even imagining finite details of their personality. Say someone asks you to imagine a “Penelope Martinez” or ” Fransisco Santori” or a “Adam Horowitz.” You may easily come up with ideas of what they may look like or act like. The most amusing part of this exercise is when you have the opportunity to meet them or see them. You may be astonished at your own accuracy or humored by your utter complete error.
Now for the name, “Alexander McQueen.” McQueen is a renown British fashion designer who was once awarded as the youngest designer to achieve the title of “British Designer of the Year.” With such a dramatic and regal name, one would imagine an equally theatrical and classically histrionic individual. Well you would be wrong. McQueen himself was a quite clean cut and simple man, reserved in
his elegant and traditional personal style, and obtained a modest interests and passions such as scuba diving. However his fashion collections and aesthetic certainly reflect the extraordinary imaginative dazzle that such a dramaturgical name infers. As many know, the tragic genius unfortunately passed away at the young age of forty, taking his own life just days before London’s 2010 Fashion Week. His spectacular brand was taken over by his talented and close confidant Sarah Burton, who has successfully carried on McQueen’s aesthetic and raw energy. McQueen is known to combine juxtapositional themes of strength and provocative fragility through his aesthetic designs, maintaining clear foundations of British bespoke tailoring, and Burton certainly evokes such fashion philosophies through her continuation of his work.
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Low and behold, Alexander McQueen’s Fall 2013
line walked the runways and was described by New York Magazine last week as “Elizabethan England re-imagined with the haunting beauty and love of the gothic macabre that is signature to the house of McQueen.” The guildedd splendor of the magical masquerade-esk line reminds you the truth in the assertion that fashion is indeed art. The looks were inspired by the Virgin Queen, Elizabeth I, the Ballet Russes, and the melodramatic intensity of regalia worn by the royal elite. Despite the fact that Burton was pregnant while creating such perfectly intricate detail, she designed ten looks that remaining faithful to the Queen nature of McQueen. Complicated lace, embellishments, meticulous embroidery, finger gloves, pearled head cages and face guards, studded platforms, caped shoulders, peplums, cobweb lace, fishnets, and a dramatic color scheme of classic white, black, silver and gold, all bring this evocatively nostalgic ball-like runway to life. To live up to such a dramatic parade, I feel obligated to claim this equally dramatic veracity— the line is literally breathtaking.
Burton certainly manifests all of the aesthetic propensities imagined by the late McQueen, this year remaining faithful to his name in several senses. If one were told
to blindly imagine a fashion line after only being told its name was “Alexander McQueen,” they may very well have visions not far-fetched from its majestic reality.