The boldness and drama perhaps looked like two angry fingers to the recession. However, just like many other designers this season in Paris, McQueen was simply playing to his strengths for autumn 09 that is putting on a theatrical show that mixed sharp tailoring with costume and was all done with couture like craftsmanship.
In the centre of his show space, debris was piled high like a scrap yard each piece of the rubble taken from sets of his past shows. And, in his show notes he referenced many things including Dior and also claimed he wanted to look back through his own archive to create an almost cleansing collection.
Oversized black and white hounds tooth check suiting referenced classic Dior and the New Look silhouette with the nipped in jackets and hobble skirts. The look became unmistakably McQueen and somewhat angry when teamed with ridiculously high fetish shoes, bleached faces and painted black balloon like lips that cast the girls in the image of Leigh Bowery. A fur sleeved leather jacket featured chains and rings straight from the fetish shop and shape and texture became more and more extreme as the show continued. Hips draped like panniers, some of the shoes so high, the skirts so tight with head pieces so large the girls could barely walk.
One model had her face and head covered in chain mail to alarming effect. And one unrecognisable girl was entirely covered in large black feathers with giant wings. McQueen is not a designer out to empower women and his misogynistic view has been much debated. After last night's show no doubt there will be more debate still - but no one can argue McQueen's unique talent and craft.
By Melissa Dick
Posted: 11th March 2009More