“The set, on this occasion, is a large, metal, light-encrusted structure based on a pair of out-stretched wings and this theme is echoed in the clothes in the form of Bird of Paradise and butterfly wing prints and flamingo feathered bodices.” -Alexander McQueen
The set of Alexander McQueen Spring/Summer 2008
Flowers and plants have inspired everything in fashion from headpieces and backdrops, to stunning garments. Although plant life fashion has yet to be lensed by Bill Cunningham or make an appearance on the red carpet, the abstract idea of floral couture has been blooming on both the catwalk and within artist’s studios.
Jean Paul Gaultier was the first to introduce the idea of botanic fashion in his Haute Couture Spring/Summer 2002 collection. The bridal dress was a “fairytale gown hung with a bold array of large-leaf foliage” (Vogue UK). Gaultier teamed up with the ecological architect, Patrick Blanc, who was the first to conceptualize the vertical garden. In this collaboration, Blanc’s ecological art transcended vertical gardens to high fashion with this famous bridal dress named the Robe Végétale (Unterberger).
Wearable and ecological garments made entirely from an array of biodiversity such as: leaves, vegetables, weeds, branches and flowers were the inspiration for Nicole Dextras’ art installation, Weedrobes. This project is an expression against the fashion and consumer industry. The decomposable materials compared to chemical-treated fabrics emphasize the impact of humans on the natural environment. Dextras explains, “It may be impractical to wear clothing made with leaves but our future depends on the creation of garments made from sustainable resources.” Taking her part in the environmental art movement, Dextras used these incredible creations as an environmental statement through social engagement. The final step of the installation was interacting the models with the public while wearing her creations. Weedrobes is a creative way to express fashion at it’s truest nature and promote ecological decisions amongst consumers.
"I used flowers because they die. My mood was darkly romantic at the time," (Savage Beauty) is a quote fashion lovers from around the world can recognize. From his iconic Sarabande collection, Alexander McQueen sent a dress made from synthetic and frozen flowers down the runway. Each step the model took, flowers began to fall off one by one, leaving behind a trail on the runway. Nature and the sublime have always influenced McQueen’s work, along with his dejection of the physical world. The theme of live flowers was both passionate and enigmatic in its presentation. Freshly bloomed flowers are undeniably gorgeous, yet the aspect of decomposition plays with the idea of duality.
Floral couture has yet to make an appearance down the runways in the recent 2000’s. Raf Simons has further developed the idea of floral couture in his majestic floral displays for Dior, but the theatrical drama of botanical bodice sculptures that express femininity in the highest form is lacking in the fashion world. Although flowers and plants rot and decay, something in them lives on forever - the impression of flowers on fashion is simply inseparable.
I’ve been very inspired by astronomy as of late. From the Academy Award winning film, Gravity, to recent galactic magazine editorials, the fascinating studies of galaxies and space provide endless inspiration. Not to mention, 93% of the mass in our body is stardust (x).
In my opinion, if you don’t believe in aliens, YOU are the crazy one. I am always wondering about the mysterious stars, planets and moons. It reminds me if something my old professor said. We used to talk about anything from ancient civilizations to shamanism. He said, “If stars weren’t so important, the why did old philosophers and scientists dedicate their lives to study them?”
1. Julia Nobis in “Lost in Cyberspace" for W Magazine March 2014 photographed by Steven Meisel
2. NGC 1300, a barred spiral galaxy about 61 million light-years away.
3. Enra, a dance that combines elements of dance, performance art, music, technology and light
4. Iris Van Herpen BIOPIRACY
5. Lindsey Wixson for CR Fashion Book photographed by Sebastian Faena
7. Aurora Borealis
8. Givenchy by Alexander McQueen Fall/Winter 1999
9. Naomi Campbell for Soon International #16 Fall 2011
10. Magdalena Frackowiak in “Metallic Moment" for Harper’s Bazaar photographed by Peter Lindbergh
Alexander McQueen Fall/Winter 2014 Review | Paris Fashion Week
Fallen trees, patchy earth and dried moss lie in a field in the middle of nowhere, smoke wreathing from the ground. It looked as if it were some sort of atomic wasteland, the apocalyptic aftermath of a war. The setting of Alexander McQueen Fall/Winter 2014 was like something out of a Sci-Fi movie. The haunting soundtrack muffled in the background was “Earth Intruders” by Bjork. It was an eerie scene where one surely could get abducted by aliens.
This clash was between prehistoric cave women wrapped in primitive and exotic furs versus the alien princesses clad in futuristic feathers, galactic embroideries and sparkly moon boots. The models all had hauntingly white faces but the differences between them were manifested in the makeup. Sparkling eyes with yellow, silver and white highlights contrasted the feral bushy eyebrows with grey undertones. Battle hair was braided and twisted, spiraling along the scalp.
The clothing was just as impressive as the scenery and details. The collection consisted of Edwardian high neck collars, empire waistlines, long coats completely draped with feathers, and untamed fur hoods. Broderie anglaise was decorated with starscapes, galaxies and astronomical designs such as stars and moons. The savage women wore bracelets with ivy leaf chain mail that enveloped the entire hand. The collection lacked color for the most part consisting mostly of blacks, whites and grays, but some final looks included extreme violet, bloodstain red, and musty teal.
The show’s overall occult feel has topped everything that Sarah Burton has done since taking hem of the label. Intense details, magical hair and makeup and the medley between haute couture and RTW, gave me a glimmering reminder of the late McQueen. The apocalyptic energy was apparent and the collection itself was romantically dark, a theme embedded in the cult of McQueen.
Alexander McQueen Fall/Winter 2010
What McQueen was preparing had a poetic, medieval beauty that dealt with religious iconography while recapturing memories of his own past collections. He had ordered fabric that translated digital photographs of paintings of high-church angels and Bosch demons into hand-loomed jacquards. Instead of aggression, they transmitted the grace of the medieval Madonnas and Byzantine empresses McQueen had been studying. -Via Style.com
Scanned from Savage Beauty
“Isabella Blow is widely accepted as an icon - of fashion, style and British creativity. But she was so much more and icon just doesn’t stretch far enough to cover it all. She was a mentor to many, the designers, photographers and models she discovered and nurtured. She was inspiring not just because she looked fanfuckingtastic in whatever she wore but because she showcased the power that fashion has in the simple (although not in her case) act of dressing and putting a persona forward to a world often harsh and worse, bleak and boring." - Kiki Georgiou
Xiao Wen Ju splashes around in the “Isabella Blow: Fashion Galore!” film directed by Ruth Hogben. The SHOWStudio project esteems the extraordinary fashion icon, Isabella Blow. Blow is known for her impeccable taste and has even discovered designers such as Alexander McQueen and models such as Stella Tennant. Her eclectic wardrobe and fearless fashion vision is featured in the multidisciplinary project which also includes editorial images, anecdotes, and essays, all of which offer a unique perspective of the late fashion editor.