Saturday, February 13, 2010

What's next at McQueen?

There's no denying that the fashion world will never be the same. Since the death of Lee "Alexander" McQueen, a huge question hangs in the balance - what will happen to the House of McQueen without their beloved creative driver?

I can't help but think back to when I was working for Christian Dior. I always respected, and still do, how Christian was able to be so expressive and so inventive with something so wild and different. Of his first collection on 12 February 1947, Harper's Bazaar famously described the creations as "The New Look". (Side note: World War II had just ended, so a collection characterized by abundant, flowing fabrics, precious medals, and luxurious medals was such a departure from the then accustomed rations and bare minimum creation.) When Christian died just a few years later, his protege Yves St. Laurent took the helm and kept the spirit and house alive. Even after the tenure of Marc Bohan, Gianfranco Ferre, and now John Galliano, even the most minute details so famously instilled by Christian Dior himself are still present throughout today's collections, but in a modern, time appropriate manner. On Galliano's smash selling Gaucho collection from 2006, we saw a western inspired range that featured a coin medallion, with an effigy of Christian Dior on the front, and Dior's favourite bow and flower, the Lilly of the Valley, and the year 1947 - all codes celebrating Christian Dior's famous design aesthetic. And in Dior's "Le Trente" collection - a fabulous handbag in honour of the House of Dior (Found at 30 Avenue Montagne in Paris) - there continue to be codes and fingerprints of Christian Dior throughout.

I'm sure the world was deeply saddened and shocked when Christian Dior died, just like we are now for McQueen. But the Dior brand moved up and onward. Sure - no one quite embodied his spirit or innovation or master craft. But like everything with a solid foundation, all will be well.

I only hope the same for Alexander McQueen and the house he built. His imagination, his creative spirit, and rare ability to see his dreams transformed from conception to reality without adulteration or dilution are very rare. And like Dior, his legend will live on beyond his years on streets and runways for years to come.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Well said!