The runway at Alexander McQueen’s show in Paris yesterday snaked around a heap of trash. The garbage motif carried over to the styling: Models’ heads were affixed with cans, wrapped in Saran Wrap, or served as balances for wheel rims and what looked like deranged manhole covers. And the nylon of one black dress was made to look like black garbage bags. So it only took Mugatu’s Derelicte collection from Zoolander eight years to transcend the cinematic world of make-believe. Which brings us a great sense of inner peace.
Disturbing our newly attained fashion Zen, however, is how uncomfortable so many of these models must have been. Suzy Menkes writes in the International Herald Tribune, “the models were tortured into dresses that hobbled their feet, making each runway step treacherous and giving a discomforting misogynist feel to the show” and calls the red clown mouths “unsavory.” And just look at the shoes! We would have been in full-on worrisome Jewish-mother mode if we saw this show live. In fact, just looking at them has us on edge. And we thought Nina Ricci was a shoe-in for the craziest footwear of fall 2009 award (zing!).
That said, the clothes were amazing (see them here). McQueen called it “an ironic and illusory exploration of the concept of re-invention.” The show was a retrospective of sorts, referencing his and other designers’ past work. Some of the feathered creations made our stomach drop. We commend the models for not toppling over.