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Alexander McQueen

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PARTING GIFT

Paris: The loss of Alexander McQueen shocked the fashion world, and the sadness it induced among his peers and followers has made for a sober undertone at the shows this season. Having nearly completed his collection at the time of his death, his assistant Sarah Burton and the workers in his atelier carefully made the finishing touches and presented the looks in an intimate setting, barring the legions of press photographers in order to preserve a sense of serenity. McQueen had become inspired by medieval religious art, and angel wings and demons appeared in the hand-loomed jacquards and digital prints. The collection read like a greatest hits of the designer’s work: an angular, structured pantsuit echoed the sculpted shapes presented for S/S 10, while the coxcomb headpieces, gold leafing and references to his English heritage connected to various other points in his career. Albeit an abbreviated collection – only 16 looks were shown – the work demonstrated McQueen’s monumental talent, and his singular ability to realize an abstract inspiration, turning it into spectacularly well-made garments that possessed a rare soulfulness. The visionary designer will truly be missed.

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