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The Horn of Plenty, Alexander McQueen F/W 2009

The set was a scrap heap of debris from the stages of past shows, surrounded by a shattered glass runway. Models had on Leigh Bowery clown-like lips and headpieces made of empty soda cans wrapped in latex or objects such as lampshades and umbrellas. The clothes were high-drama satires of haute couture signatures: parodies of Dior’s famous houndstooth and Chanel tweed suits, moving through harsh red-orange and black harlequin looks that revisited showstoppers from McQueen’s own archive.

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It’s Only a Game, Alexander McQueen S/S 2005

The models moved as if they were pieces in a life-sized chess game, an idea inspired by a scene from Harry Potter & The Sorcerer’s Stone. Once they had taken up their positions, reminders of all McQueen’s past signatures and silhouettes were in place: Savile Row sharp-tail coats; richly embroidered Japanese kimonos; streamlined sci-fi bodysuits; rigid molded corsets; and stiff, flounced godet skirts. Taken as a whole, the collection also highlighted McQueen’s remarkable ability to look across cultures for inspiration.

The Hunger, Alexander McQueen S/S 1996

A bold runway look consisting of a sharp-cut synthetic silver wool jacket, a red silk faille skirt with silver antlers, and a molded plastic bodice that trapped worms against the model’s chest.

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Christian Lacroix F/W 2002 Haute Couture

The show took the audience on a trip into a fantasy universe where models became surreal, mysterious creatures—jeweled, veiled, and topped off with towering headdresses. Particular fascinations were seen in Lacroix’s long-established signatures: bright colors, floor-length gowns, embroidered jackets, and matador influences with a taste for the 18th century, being softened up and deconstructed.

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Interview with Sasha Pivovarova for Reserved F/W 2011, talking about a most beautiful moment in her life.

Marcelina Sowa directed by Ilaria Orsini

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Sigrid Agren for Chanel Chance Eau Tendre

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Erin O’Connor opening Christian Dior S/S 2004 Haute Couture

Travels to Egypt inspired John Galliano to create a royal look of overblown sleeves, gold encrusted makeup, and giant scarab jewelry, completed with a Nefertiti headdress and King Tut goatee. This collection is one of Galliano’s most celebrated works for Dior.

Haider Ackermann S/S 2012

A recent trip to Rajasthan, India, seems to have informed Ackermann’s astonishing palette—blended colors, sari drapes of chiffon, maharajah brocades, and finely pleated silver tissue bands.

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