Tuesday, October 4, 2011

This is McQueen: SS12

I've still be thinking (perhaps too much) about this concept of people designing under the names of someone else. I neglected to mention in my last post how this can sometimes go shockingly right instead of dismally wrong (or artistically into left-field.)

In the case of Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen, the act of taking over a name and continuing to design under it has gone as smoothly as Burton could have dreamed. But what's interesting about her takeover after the death of McQueen is how much she has been able to adhere to his previous aesthetic. This, I believe, is the key. There is no point is carrying on a fashion name when the new designer creates clothes that have nothing to do with the clothes that made that name famous. That's not to say that designers are without artistic license-- the very point of art is to innovate, but if that's the case, why not (as I mentioned previously) just start designing under your own name instead? Of course, this is much easier said that done, especially when a name like John Galliano carries the weight that it does.

At the same time, does this mean that Burton is resigned to design collection after collection that looks just as McQueen's last works did? No. Her work has moved in new directions, but what she has held onto is that eerie elegance, the evidence of a haunted genius that permeated McQueen's work. Not a problem, the pair worked together for over a decade before Lee's suicide. And, its pretty important to point out that this is only Burtons THIRD stand-alone collection. With the genius she displays, it seems like there have been many, many more before this. So why am I quick to dismiss Gaytten's work for Galliano but embrace Burton's work for McQueen? Because Burton's work oooozes McQueen, while Gaytten's work could be anybody for any name, but it's not necessarily Galliano. (Cue Enid telling Carrie "This isn't VOGUE!")

Burton described the line as "a collection about excess--an exploration of ideals beauty at their most extreme." McQueen's official twitter described the line as "hyper-feminitity." It's as though Burton has explored the boundaries of femininity to test how far it can go, how it can be emphasized. It makes use of feather and bird motifs as well as the ocean, sea shells, anemones, (the entire underwater theme is explored expertly by Vogue's review.)  This mingling of the strange with the ordinary creates looks that are haunting and mysterious in their effortless beauty. It's pointless to fit McQueen (really, ever) in with the other trends of Spring. It isn't like anything else.

Posted by: Carla 
*All images from Style.Com

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