June 21, 2008
Alexander McQueen showed his women's pre-spring collection on the runway alongside his Spring menswear "because they both go into the shop together," but also to mark the season's commercial importance. How reassuring to hear from the designer that 60 percent of his business comes from these gorgeous, uncompromising outfits. There have been times when McQueen seemed like the new Charles James, but here, he was all about Travis Bantonthe Hollywood costume designer who made Marlene Dietrich into a goddess. "Über-partying, über-glamour" was McQueen's theme. His always acute tailoring flawlessly contoured jackets and jumpsuits to the body (an all-in-one tux had nouvelle Marlene all over it). Bias-cutting and draping produced impactful party dresses. The chiffon that veiled fishtailed dresses was exquisitely embroidered with koi or hummingbirds. And the designer insisted that a heavily beaded holographic sheath reminded him of Natasha Henstridge's second skin in Species. It wouldn't be McQueen without a horror-movie moment.