Friday, 20 November 2009

Tim Gunn's Bad Romance/ Alexander McQueen SS 2010

This week saw the rather boring and anticlimactic conclusion to Project Runway. But that's okay, because that means... interviews with Tim Gunn! Yay! After talking about the misfortunes of this season, one of my favorite silver foxes, after answering Claire Zulkey's question about what the best trends were for women today, dropped this bomb:

I was looking at the Bill Cunningham party page in the New York Times, and a woman was wearing those Alexander McQueen hoof shoes. It not only looks ugly — I don't believe it's something you get used to and then think is pretty — it looks like the individual has a deformity. It looks like the devil's spawn. It's really horrifying.

I have to respectfully disagree with Mr. Gunn. Then again, I recently wore leggings as pants the other day and actually liked it, so clearly I am a lost cause. At this point, I'm sure you've all seen these shoes, dubbed "armadillo shoes" by Mr. McQueen themselves. They come in many iterations--some less fortunate than others--but I think they're most succesful with a little bit of glitter. 

Image from Jezebel


Shoe. Lust. And I hate shoes. Yes, they do look like a deformity. But they're so shocking and incomprehensible that the mind is forced to accept them. (Especially when covered with sparkles.)

That last sentence could just as easily describe Alexander McQueen's Spring Summer 2010 show. I did not have the time to review it in October, but as more and more fashion forward celebs wear pieces from the collection, it would be a shame not to. 

Most of the reviews focused on the show itself, and not the clothes, which is a shame. The show was supposed to be broadcast live on the Internet, but when Lady Gaga Twittered that her new single Bad Romance was premiering at the show, the site crashed. The fancy camera cranes that dominated the stage were for naught. Nevertheless, the clothes are interesting in and of themselves. McQueen titled the collection Plato's Atlantis--the idea being that, as global warming continues and the Earth is covered with more water, humans will devolve into aquatic features. Hence the morphing feet. The show had all of McQueen's usual elements--creative tailoring, beautiful colors, new silhouettes--and stayed on trend. As with many shows from this past season, there were big shoulders and tiny waists, digitized prints (McQueen created fractals from images of animals), transparency, and, of course, lots and lots of sparkle.

Of course, one of the interesting things about creating clothing for the future--whether it's in a fashion show or in a movie--is that the designer tends to rely on pre-modern elements. McQueen has created incredible coats for this collection--they're almost indistinguishable from the dress--but he also uses some romantic decorations: lots of hoop skirts were used, as well as false sleeves, both common elements in Elizabethan dress. Several dresses have Watteau backs or melting skirts a la Polainase, integral elements of 18th century French fashion.  Even as McQueen looks forward to the future (and we will all be wearing something like this soon--I look forward to the knock-offs at Forever 21), we all look to the past.

All images


Oh, and because I can't get the song out of my head, and because all of the shoes and most of the costumes are from this collection, I present to you:

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