Thursday, June 25, 2009

Alexander McQueen's daylight noir

There is something seriously disturbing about this collection. I know all the splatters and hand prints and silk-screened designs are supposed to represent the endeavors of an artist, as presented in the video screened in lieu of a runway show (below), but the way the clothes are worn by the model has a way of unnerving any viewer.

It is as if he were a fugitive disguised in other people's clothes. This effect is not merely caused by the model's demeanor and looks; the clothes themselves look deceptive.

It is not just the way the paint has been splattered last-minute, but the way the clothes obviously seek to look worn-in. They instead look new, recently painted, doodled upon, sketched and traced on with markers, and even purposely ripped.

There is a clear vein of inspiration from Martin Margiela — from the denim and hand marks to the trompe-l'oeil and the shoes. But I have the feeling that the entire effect was meant to be sinister.

The items are intentionally rough, unrefined, and raw-edged, but a look at the tiny details would suggest otherwise. Have you noticed the different collars on the shirts? Wide, narrow, pointed; there are even Chinese collars, and the second one above, which is only seen on priests.

One can be quick to point out the irony, but on the other hand, couldn't these ensembles represent the everyday workman who can be found across the industries?

Priest, painter, artist, mason, freemason, cowboy, hobo, bum, designer, sheriff, and assassin?

Whatever the work or cause, there is a certain appeal to the vandalized shirts and jackets. I think they go best with denim pants or jeans.

Now the jacket and coat on the right tell a different story, as those below.

The pockets are subtle, the cut boxy and strong. The single-breasted jackets have two buttons, making them more formal and strict — or should we say stiff enough to be rightly worn with sandals and metallic blue patent laceups, even if the placing of the top pockets already make them more casual.

Notice the different distribution of the buttons on the DBs, the red buttonhole stitching, and the disciplinary collar pin.

Even if Miharayasuhiro had similar looking skeleton shirts in a previous collection, and Etro utilized kaleidoscope patterns for Spring 2010, Alexander McQueen's take still occupy its own place. They represent the complex mind of the creatively deranged.

1 comment:

-h said...

i like how some designers are using alternatives to the traditional catwalk shows. gareth pugh made a good point about having greater control on how a collection is perceived.

im not getting a sinister edge from this (more from the video though). and i swear i thought this before i read blank's review, but i esp. in the 1st set, it's sexual. because of the way the handprints are, it's as if he was being embraced from behind. and the lower ones...well that's pretty self-explanatory.

i like the trompe-l'oeil effect of the white blazer in the 2nd row. and the trench in the 4th.