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Armani Conquers China, Chastises the Pope June 01st, 2012 @ 11:53 AM



 
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Alexander McQueen's Crucible Chic

Godfrey Deeny
March 06th, 2007 @ 12:22 AM

Talk about baring your soul. Does any other designer live his life as openly as Alexander McQueen, whose latest show was inspired by a relative accused of being a “witch” and burnt at the stake in Salem, Massachusetts three centuries ago?

McQueen, the greatest theatric in fashion, didn’t just focus on witches, but ruminated visually on the occult, paganism and Egyptian devils. The only surprise is that the Vatican daily L’Osservatore Romano has not since penned an editorial condemning the show.

This was not a simple work of chic for the pampered. Instead, about 1,500 folk race through rush hour rain to the outskirts of Paris to see the collection in the Zenith, a giant tent used for rock concerts and the scene of Kurt Cobain’s last show in Paris, one week before the rocker took his own life.

There, Alexander had built a remarkable set, a giant coal dust circle, in which was etched a red clay pentangle that became the catwalk where walked the week’s best casting of models. The gals strode around under an enormous, inverted three-sided pyramid, on which was projected a custom made movie replete with images of goats’ heads, scrambling insects and sorceresses being burnt by Puritans.

Many critics have since complained that the clothes were too hard to see – which raises the question, do they think witches operate in daylight? Hello?

Moreover, all one had to do post show was saunter backstage, where, glass of champagne in hand, one could take a leisurely look at the collection. Unlike most other designers, who furtively lock up their collections in opaque garment bags within immediately after their shows, McQueen’s looks are always on display.

What we saw were tremendous takes on volume: beehive skirts and tops made in remarkable combinations of shredded chiffon; excellent leather leggings attached right into high-heeled boots and beautifully sculpted diabolic minis - think dresses Nefertiti raves in Ibiza.

Also outstanding were curvaceous padded satin coats and bustier robes in violet or gold, lapis lazuli patterned frocks cut with shoulder fins, bitch witch sequined jumpsuits that were sexily scary and a Native American shaman, or make that woman, robes with tinted wolf headgear.

These were not clothes for the faint hearted, or the feeble willed; they were the most stimulating we saw in Paris and Thank Christ or, maybe, Beelzebub, for that.

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