Monday, 17 February 2014

Catwalk Trends S/S 2014: Alexander McQueen

The oldest memory I have of Alexander McQueen is those big bold red lips, somewhat like a clown, strutting down the A/W 2009 catwalk accompanied a variety of monochrome hounds tooth ensembles. Shocked by this distinct, slightly ugly look, but at the same time intrigued, my twelve year old self went out and bought a hound-tooth skirt suit from Next girls in the coming months via a car boot sale. The skirt didn't fit, and the blazer's one button didn't quite do up comfortably, but there in my wardrobe hung my little piece of fashion.

The next season, McQueen's collection featured alien-like hairstyles, insect-like makeup and digital reptile print dresses. The shoes, curved from the ankle to the toe, balancing on a skinny stiletto heel, were like nothing anyone had ever seen before. I think this was the moment when my mind truly became engaged in the fashion world.

This season, Sarah Burton- now head of the late McQueen's fashion label- has presented us with feathers, gems, glitter and festive colours- but they are in such a way that is suitable for those luxurious summer evenings. Mostly a formal collection, these pieces speak for themselves.

This simple black dress is transformed into a red carpet evening gown by the gems which the neck, arm hole and waist areas, in subtle colours to avoid garish boasting in order to portray true luxury. A series of fine feathers add a peplum effect- a trend seen on skirts, tops, even coats everywhere last season- creating the illusion of a voluptuous figure for even the most boyish body types. The tassles which hang from the small gold and sequin bag nod to the recent Baz Luhrman 'The Great Gatsby' film, this outfit oozing 1920s glamour from head to toe.

Presenting a melange of cultures and trends, it is difficult to understand what this dress is trying to achieve; however, it works. The print is potentially inspired by the aztecs, the ancient peruvian tribe which was famed for its construction of Machu Picchu, considering the step-like design in the centre of the dress. It also contains some shapes which look like barcodes, holly leaves and pacman monsters, which are not too mismatched due to the deep coral red colour, something which is unique comapred to typical sand-coloured designs. Gold Egyptian jewellery, such as cuffs and a choker, makes this short body con dress (a style usually exclusive to house parties attended by the younger end of the teenage spectrum) slightly more mature and appropriate for more lavish affairs. Nonethess, chunky, strappy, heeled biker sandals bring the dress back down to earth and ensure the it does not claim to be something which is not. An ongoing third trend- 'sport luxe' - is touched upon as well, the fabric appearing to be of a neoprene-like texture from afar. By replacing the heels with some Doc Martens, and adding a black biker jacket, this dress would not look out of place for daytime use. 

Another outfit which contains Egyptian elements, this dress could be designed for the Godess of Love. The sweetheart neckline and scarlet colour would have made this dress perfect for a Valentine's ball, the dainty pleats and sheer layers adding a delicate romanticisty without being too cliché. 

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