3 days ago
#McQueenUnLockingStories. Black lace cut and appliquéd on white lace; the birth of this dress with its off-the-shoulder leg ’o’ mutton sleeves in the Spring/Summer 2019 show is genetically related to a series of Alexander McQueen forerunners.
The collection narrative about women’s celebrations was focused on weddings, birth and the traditions surrounding the wearing of white dresses. At the centre of the research was the delicate construction of a beautiful Victorian lace christening gown.
The translucent leg ’o’ mutton sleeves in this dress — internally supported by a ‘crinoline’ cage — was devised for the Spring/Summer 2007 Sarabande collection.
This fitted, tiered Edwardiana wedding dress from Autumn/Winter 2006, made in a Carrickmacross inspired lace, came with a veiled headpiece supported by a pair of antlers.
The archive contains multiple examples of experimentation, manipulating lace. A sheer red lace dress was the denouement of the Joan of Arc Autumn/Winter 1998 collection, surrounded by flames. The fascination for drawing fresh meanings from historical material is integral to the Alexander McQueen creative culture.
After the archival inspiration pieces were consulted, the dress took on a life of its own in the fittings.
The steps in the process exemplify one of the essential Alexander McQueen ways of working: a collaboration of hand-made processes and digital technology, as two separate designs of flower-patterned Lyon lace were layered one over the other, with a cut-out filigree of black roses embroidered over white.
White Lyon lace was used as the base, with a floral pattern developed in the atelier. Black Lyon lace was designed to be hand-cut to construct the 3-D rose over-layer, which was then embellished with touches of jet. In order to unite the two layers, the embroidery team then created a ‘colour up’ digital ‘lace map’. The Alexander McQueen practice of making miniature 3-D paper maquettes helps visualise and adjust the scale and placement of the lace for the final design. Small-scale dolls are accurately reduced on the computer to exactly 30 percent of the original scale of the dress. #AlexanderMcQueen #27OldBondStreet.