193 posts tagged "Alexander McQueen"
Since its inception in 1993, the British Fashion Council’s NEWGEN has supported the best and brightest of London’s young designers, fostering their transitions from fledgling talents to global stars. Alexander McQueen, Christopher Kane, Jonathan Saunders, Thomas Tait, and Simone Rocha are just some of its many success stories. Strangely, though, a designer has never sat on its prestigious judges panel, until today. The initiative announced that former NEWGEN-er Mary Katrantzou will join industry movers and shakers such as Sarah Mower, Kate Phelan, Yasmin Sewell, Ruth Chapman and more on the platform’s selection committee. Katrantzou, who launches her e-commerce site today, will step into her duties straight away and help choose the womenswear designers who will win sponsorship for the Fall ’14 season.
Everything old is new again—including heirloom-worthy pearls. No longer reserved for prim sweater sets and Easter brunch, pearls have gotten a forward-thinking makeover for Spring. Forgo classic stud earrings in favor of surrealist pumps, an embellished minaudière, or a playful belt. A hint of irony takes this look from “traditional” to anything but. Shop our favorite pearly pieces by Nicholas Kirkwood, Alexander McQueen, and more, below.
1. Alexander McQueen faux-pearl-embellished knitted dress, $2,915, available at net-a-porter.com.
2. Adia Kibur faux-pearl cluster bracelet, $50, available at shopbop.com.
3. Lanvin crystal-and-Swarovski-pearl belt, $2,780, available at net-a-porter.com.
4. Alexander McQueen black leather Fishscale Pearl Skull Box Clutch, $2,085, available at ssense.com.
5. Nicholas Kirkwood pearl-trimmed suede pumps, $889, available at matchesfashion.com.
Curator Alistair O’Neill only met the late Isabella Blow once. He was at an art opening with designer Julien Macdonald, one of the late, great Blow’s charges, whom he studied with at the Royal College of Art. “Isabella was wearing a famous Philip Treacy hat, which is in the exhibition. It had feathers around the eyes, which covered her nose and her mouth and her forehead,” he recalled. “I spent the evening talking to her and was completely fascinated. But all that I could concentrate on were her eyes, because I couldn’t really see her mouth. I could only just about listen to what she was saying, and I was just mesmerized by this image of these eyes being framed by the feathers. The combination of her intelligence and her laughing was really intoxicating,” he continued. “I’ve never forgotten that.”
On November 20, O’Neill, along with Shonagh Marshall and Central Saint Martins, will aim to bring the editor, patron, and muse’s work and wardrobe to life with the opening of Isabella Blow: Fashion Galore! at the Somerset House in London. Before her tragic suicide, in 2007, Blow was a pillar of London’s emerging fashion community. Having worked everywhere—from British and American Vogue to The Sunday Times to Tatler—Blow is credited with discovering such designers as Alexander McQueen (as the story goes, she bought his entire graduate collection after it walked down the Central Saint Martins Runway in 1992), milliner Philip Treacy, Jeremy Scott, and Hussein Chalayan, as well as models Sophie Dahl (whom she once described as a “blow-up doll with brains”) and Stella Tennant.
Aside from being a steadfast supporter of young talents (Treacy and McQueen both lived with her at one point, and she not only gave the designers financial and editorial support but also fed them ideas from her wealth of historical knowledge—fashion and otherwise), Blow, who came from a complicated aristocratic background, was known as a great eccentric—both in her behavior and her dress. Her infamous wardrobe comprised the most extreme pieces by all of the conceptual up-and-comers she helped along the way. And, of course, Treacy’s hats were her screaming signature. Following her death, her sartorial collection was to be sold at Christie’s to settle her estate, but Blow’s friend Daphne Guinness swooped in at the last minute and purchased every piece, because that’s how Isabella—or Issy, as she was known—would have wanted it.
O’Neill, however, did not want to simply paint Blow as an eccentric. “I thought it was important to distance Isabella from those literary ideas of the English eccentric, because they’re often quite tragic,” he explained. “And I’m not sure Isabella was fully tragic—she was quite brave, and very funny. She had a very bored and black humor.” Furthermore, Blow always wore her outfits—whether it be a metallic McQueen corset or an ensemble crafted from brightly hued garbage bags—in a deeply considered manner. “Isabella used her clothes, her hats, and her accessories as a means to modify and transform herself,” said O’Neill. “She had a great eye for silhouette, and her hats were almost a means of plastic surgery for her face, without going under the knife,” added Marshall. “She said they can lift you, they can make you look different, and I think that was something that she really indulged in.” Continue Reading “Isabella Blow: Beyond the Eccentric” »