Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Alexander McQueen’s Primordial Reveries



AFP /Getty Images

Fashion is all about renewal, Alexander McQueen reminded us at his fashion show Tuesday night. But it is all about spectacle as well, lest anyone take the collection – with its reptilian encrustations – at face value.

Titled “Plato’s Atlantis”, the performance opened with a video of a naked woman writhing in the sand with snakes. Two robotic arms with video cameras glided up and down the runway, gyrating like snakes, streaming the show live on the designer’s website.

The opening styles were silk dresses with reptilian patterns in shades of green, brown and gold. Large flaps folded over the shoulders and around the hips. Turquoise jewels embroidered on waists and turtlenecks resembled scales. The models’ feet were encased in ankle boots with the most extreme platforms of Paris fashion week. The result didn’t look anything like a shoe.

As the video screen played images of a nude woman floating in water, the show shifted into aquatic looks. Blues and greens replaced the desert tones. A sensible gray dress was cut away across the chest and back to reveal swirls of turquoise.

Gray and black leather dresses looked like rubber – more futuristic than the vintage-looking leather on many other runways during the past week. Models wore masks plastered on to the bridge of their noses and their temples, giving them angular and alien-like profiles. . .

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