Sympathy for the devil

Sometimes artists make sacrifices for their craft. Vincent Van Gogh cut off his part of his ear. William S. Burroughs cut off his pinky finger. Alexander McQueen’s various extremities are intact, but I suspect he may have sold his soul to the devil. I have this suspicion not because I think he’s evil, or because I feel cold when I look into his eyes, but because I don’t know how any person could come up with season after season of such intensely complicated, beautiful clothes without having engaged in a dodgy transaction with a seriously powerful counterparty. Who needs private equity money when you have Satan?

Today I’m in the mood to take a little walk down memory lane with one of the most talented designers on the planet. A mid-career retrospective on some of my favourite McQueen looks. It’s a long walk, so you better put on some flats.

RESORT 2010

Resort wear? Must be a pretty amazing resort. Who wouldn’t want a weird bug-inspired dress or pair of leggings?

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FALL/WINTER 2008

If the Little Prince had lived in British Raj India instead of being a lonely, far-away asteroid-dweller, I think his girlfriends probably would have worn stuff like this:

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I need a gown made from chicken feathers RIGHT NOW.

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This heavy red satin bolero is deadly cool. It looks like McQueen pried two roses open and stuffed the model’s arms through the centre of the petals. LOVE.

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I didn’t think decadence and luxury like this existed anymore, but here they are, lovingly stitched on the bodice of this beautiful gown.

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It’s Alice! Doesn’t her skirt look so cuddly?

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Easter Racing Carnival hat anyone? It can double as a very cool fireplace screen in a pinch.

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FALL/WINTER 2009

I am so disturbed right now that I might need someone to hold me. What was he thinking when he came up with this stuff? Those blood red and black clown mouths look downright depraved.

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And what about this white feathered bondage nest? I’d say it’s f’d up, but then my mom would get mad at me for swearing on my blog again.

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PRE-FALL 2009

One part dominatrix, one part A Clockwork Orange. If I was a girl droog, (which I suppose is an oxymoron, since those droogs were such misogynistic little bastards), this is what I would wear. And I would whip Alex and his gang of white pants wearing, walking stick wielding, moloko drinking hooligans into shape with my riding crop.

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If only you could really wear an outfit like this in the snow. Between the argyle tights and the open-faced balaclava, you’d be so toasty. Unfortunately snowy weather dictates you wear hideous things like “sensible shoes” and “loose pants with long underwear underneath.” Might as well give up now, slob around in trackies and use public bathrooms while barefoot like Britney.

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SPRING/SUMMER 2010

I love how the prints of the SS10 collection morph from snake/lizard to rust, gold and black hued swirls to gorgeous dark florals, to ice queen blues and silvers with contrasting touches of orange. So much outrageous visual gluttony.

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One strategically placed sweep of stiff plastic:

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And one not so strategically placed sweep of stiff plastic misses its mark. The model looks a bit like a boy, but somehow the androgyny looks really good here. Fashion forward Star Trek-like aliens don’t get all tangled up with silly gender labels anyway.

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I wonder how they got her hair so tall.

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I know this has been intense, so let’s take a little breather and look at some nice, subdued black booties.

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And now I’ll sign off with my favourite shoe on the planet. I wonder if I should get a bigger Christmas stocking so that Santa will be able to fit these shoes in it?

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All photos source: www.style.com