August 22 2014

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Death Becomes Her?


With his Spring ’09 menswear collection, Alexander McQueen helped kick-start a trend for skulls and skeletons. (Ed Hardy and Christian Audigier kept skulls top of mind for those tracking a different fashion demographic.) And then, as with all gluts, it seemed that the moment had passed—we’d seen just one memento mori too many. Who needed to be reminded, after all?

But it looks like we called it too early. Bones are back, baby—and not just on scrawny models. (Hold the jokes and the harangues, please.) At the Couture shows, Riccardo Tisci was thinking of “a romantic way to see death”—hence the bone-shaped zipper pulls, the skeletal jewelry, a tiny skull nestled in the back of a satin jacket (left; check out our slideshow for a closer look). Jean Paul Gaultier was on the same page. He spoke of a bare-bones approach to couture, and then, the final look: Dita Von Teese in a barely-there corset resembling nothing so much as a glittering ribcage. For a gala of ghouls, you could pair it with Dsquared²’s spinal-column heels from Fall ’10—or, for a little more coverage, one of the skull instarsia knits from Lucien Pellat-Finet, whom you might call the elder statesman of the trend. He’s been playing with skulls for more than a decade.

At her Paris men’s shows, Rei Kawakubo dedicated nearly her entire collection for Comme des Garçons to the theme. Skull-laden lads (with heads painted to suggest the craniums beneath) wore suits, shirts, shoes, and even dresses printed with the motif. And from the arena of pop—literally—Lady Gaga had her finger on the (undead) pulse last night for her first-ever show at Madison Square Garden. She donned a bone-fingered glove during one of her many costume changes.

Skeletons—back into the closet? Click here for our slideshow of bony looks.

Photo: Courtesy of Givenchy



  1. SansVergogne says:

    This is really inspiring; death, skeletons, I don’t think this trend fatigue, indeed, Riccardo Tisci’s couture show is fabulous by the way he propose his bones look, it’s delicate, it’s subtile, it’s perfect. But from my point of view, Comme des Garçons’s clothes for her paris men’s show, just didn’t get it like tisci or Mcqueen did. Those graphic paterns remind me of the famous Tim burton’s film, wich is not fantastic, a bit too children-like. I’m french, excuse the spelling mistakes.

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