Alexander McQueen

Girly to Grunge: Karen Wazen Sported Two Surprisingly Different Outfits Within 24 Hours in New York

Girly to Grunge: Karen Wazen Sported Two Surprisingly Different Outfits Within 24 Hours in New York

Photo: Instagram.com/karenwazen
Trust fashion week fixture Karen Wazen to serve two distinct outfits in one day. While in New York to attend the off-schedule Alexander McQueen show, the Lebanese entrepreneur went from sporting an ultra-feminine look to a bold and edgy one within a span of 24 hours.

To view the show during the day, Wazen opted for a dress in pale yellow from the British fashion house, which featured a fitted bodice with zip detailing at the neck, balloon sleeves, and a pleated, flared-out skirt fit for a modern-day princess vibe. Balancing the look and adding a touch of maturity to it, the mother-of-three went for black pumps whose pointed toes were adorned with studs. The choice of footwear also complemented her second outfit for the evening. This time embracing a grungier aesthetic, Wazen looked to the fail-safe head-to-black look, but stepped it up a notch by incorporating not one, but two sustainable leather pieces. Her black bandeau top was topped off with a matching belted coat, and paired with straight-fit trousers.
Photo: Instagram.com/karenwazen
Wazen’s beauty look to go with the outfits? Sideswept bangs and a top knot that went from polished to messy as the day went on, working in favor of both ensembles. As for her glam for the day, the influencer offered makeup inspiration for the summer by adding a pop of color to her eyeshadow. With her eyelids painted in a muted blue shade, the rest of Wazen’s look featured glowy skin and a pinky nude lip.
Read Next: Karen Wazen and Madiyah Al Sharqi Collaborate on a Second Collection of Playful, Modern Summer Pieces

5 Looks From Alexander McQueen’s Fall/Winter 2022 New York Show That You Have To Check Out

5 Looks From Alexander McQueen’s Fall/Winter 2022 New York Show That You Have To Check Out

New York is where all the action was last night, with Alexander McQueen presenting its Fall/Winter 2022 collection—26 years after its first show in the Big Apple, which took place back in 1996. “I am so happy to be back in New York, a city that has always been close to our hearts,” creative director Sarah Burton said post the presentation, which showcased vibrant looks inspired by nature. What made the collection twice as noteworthy was its mindfulness. Crafted using 85% upcycled materials, the latest McQueen offerings were more than just a visual delight; they also took into account fashion’s very real concerns when it comes to sustainability and showing respect for the environment.

Hosted in a discreet warehouse in Brooklyn—the Agger Fish Building, to be precise—Alexander McQueen’s Fall/Winter 2022 line celebrated the sense of community that comes with life in NYC. “We showed the Dante collection here in 1996, and then came again with Eye in the autumn of 1999. It is part of our community, a place that has always welcomed us, and this season I want to honor that,” Burton explained. “So, this collection is inspired by that idea of community, and specifically by mycelium, by the reality of nature as a community that is far, far older than we are. Mycelium connects even the rooftop of the tallest skyscraper to the plants, to the grass, to the ground, to animals and to human beings. Mycelium has the most profound, interconnecting power, relaying messages through a magical underground structure, allowing trees to reach out to each other when either they or their young need help or are sick. The idea is humbling – beautiful – and, of course, a metaphor for interconnection and for community between people, between us all. We exist as single, individual entities on one level, but we are far more powerful connected to each other, to our families, to our friends, to our community. Given everything that has happened over the past two years, that seems more important than ever. As a community we are infinitely more able to restore, reinvent, rejuvenate – heal.”
The thought came to life on the runway via pieces that jumped out in a vibrant palette—think neon green, canary yellow, and show-stopping scarlet—complemented with silver-toed leather harness pumps with mushroom and sequin mycelium embroidery, edgy chokers, stacks of rings, and ear hooks. Below, Vogue Arabia’s picture editor Ankita Chandra shares her top picks from the showcase.
Take your classic red pantsuit and give it a McQueen makeover with a black and white mushroom print.
Burton’s mushroom detailing also found itself making an appearance in fiery shades of orange on a black tulle dress.
Neons were at the forefront of Burton’s latest collection, with highlighter hued pantsuits winning everyone’s vote.
Burton gave this party-ready number a psychedelic spin by accentuating its asymmetric silhouette with multicolored tassel and embroidery detailing.
Styled with intricately buckled silver boots, one of the most exciting looks from Alexander McQueen’s New York show had to be this molten silver dress, which came with an exaggerated 3D bow.

Watch Alexander McQueen’s Fall/Winter 2022 Show Live from New York Here

Watch Alexander McQueen’s Fall/Winter 2022 Show Live from New York Here

Alexander McQueen SS22. Photo: Courtesy
Off the official fashion week calendar, Alexander McQueen will present its Fall/Winter 2022 collection in New York on March 15. This will mark the British fashion house’s first show in the Big Apple in 26 years after designer Alexander McQueen made his New York debut with the Fall 1996 show.

While the brand currently helmed by Sarah Burton has been a part of the Paris fashion week, it decided to go off-schedule last year. The “storm-chasing” SS22 collection was presented in London’s Yellow Park, Tobacco Dock where models walked and guests sat under a giant bubble-like structure on top of an 11 story car park. If that is anything to go by, the set of tonight’s show in Brooklyn will be no less extraordinary. Vogue Arabia will be in the front row, delivering the action straight from the runway to your screens, so make sure to keep an eye out on our Instagram.
To watch the Alexander McQueen Fall/Winter 2022 Ready-to-Wear show live, tune in below at 2am GST.

Read Next: The Best Street Style Photos From Paris Fashion Week Fall 2022

Queen Rania Aced High-Low Dressing in a Cosy Mauve Zara Jacket While Visiting a Local Women’s Organization

Queen Rania Aced High-Low Dressing in a Cosy Mauve Zara Jacket While Visiting a Local Women’s Organization

Photo: Royal Hashemite Court of Jordan
HM Queen Rania of Jordan recently paid a visit to the Tal Al Rumman Women’s Cooperative, which provides local women with skill-based employment opportunities. A long-time champion of women’s empowerment, especially within her country, the royal’s trip marked her show of support, as she stopped by various training sessions and areas of the organization to learn more about its economic and social programs.

The ensembles Queen Rania picks for royal engagements are always noteworthy, and spotlight her multifaceted, carefully curated wardrobe of luxury international designers, local and traditional craftsmanship, as well as high-street brands. This time, she opted for an affordable number from Zara, coincidentally in the same week as her fellow royal Kate Middleton, Duchess of Cambridge, who was spotted in a black turtleneck sweater from the Spanish retailer.
Photo: Instagram.com/queenrania
Not one to shy away from color, Queen Rania wore a wool shirt jacket in mauve, nearly channeling the Pantone Color of the Year, ‘Very Peri’. The structured jacket was worn buttoned up and lightly cinched at the waist with a belt. Offering her take on high-low dressing, the royal paired the Zara piece with black straight trousers from Alexander McQueen, and Nike sneakers. With minimally styled hair, Queen Rania’s wavy tresses were parted sideways and pinned behind her ears in a faux half-up-half-down way.
Photo: Courtesy of Royal Hashemite Court of Jordan
Videos and images shared on the royal’s Instagram account showed her taking a tour of the organization and interacting with the craftswomen. “Enjoying Tal Al Rumman’s beautiful nature and the company of its amazing people,” she captioned a photo of her holding a wooden piece presumably created by one of the women at Tal Al Rumman. Founded in 2017 and located in Balqa Governorate, it is the sole community-based organization in the village and offers women skill-specific training sessions in cooking, embroidery, sewing, baking, and dairy production.
Read Next: Queen Rania Wears the Traditional Jordanian Keffiyeh to Meet the Country’s Youth

14 Times Kate Middleton Showed Us How to Re-Wear an Outfit and Make It Look Brand New

14 Times Kate Middleton Showed Us How to Re-Wear an Outfit and Make It Look Brand New

Kate Middleton is undoubtedly one of the world’s most sought-after muses when it comes to designer fashion, but – despite a seemingly endless list of prominent names queueing up to dress her – the Duchess of Cambridge tends to stick to a specific set of tried-and-tested looks.
Even better? She’s so fond of some of her looks that she sees no shame in wearing them again. And again, and again, in some cases, using her reach to make a strong case for recycling looks. How many of those significant fashion moments, analyzed by the world’s most intense press, would you be comfortable recycling?
Kate Middleton has worn and re-worn over 50 of her most show-stopping outfits, but we’ve picked out 14 of her most iconic, recycled looks:
Jenny Packham gown
Photo: Getty

First worn: During a tour of Pakistan back in 2019Last worn: The Royal Variety Performance in London in November 2021
Barbara Casasola dress
Photo: Getty

First worn: At the Natural History Museum for the Art Fund Museum of the Year prize in 2016Last worn: At an Addiction Awareness Week dinner in 2019
Alexander McQueen dress
Photo: Getty

First worn: To a state dinner in Malaysia in 2012Last worn: To the 2020 BAFTAs
Catherine Walker coat dress
Photo: Getty

First worn: Arriving in New Zealand at Wellington Airport in 2014Last worn: At the Commonwealth Day Service in 2019
Alexander McQueen coat dress
Photo: Getty

First worn: During a 2014 trip to New ZealandThen worn: To the RAF Air Cadets 75th anniversary celebration in 2016Last worn: In 2019 the naming ceremony for The RSS Sir David Attenborough
Mulberry coat
Photo: Getty

First worn: At the Stephen Lawrence Centre in 2015Last worn: Visiting Coventry Cathedral in 2018
Alexander McQueen coat dress
Photo: Getty

First worn: At Princess Charlotte’s 2015 christeningThen worn: For 2016’s Trooping The ColourThen worn: For the Passchendaele Commemorations in Belgium in 2017Last worn: At Meghan and Harry’s 2018 wedding
Alexander McQueen dress
Photo: Getty

First worn: Visiting Prince Edward Island in Canada in 2011.Last worn: At Wimbledon in 2012.
Jenny Packham dress
Photo: Getty

First worn: At the “Our Greatest Team Rises” Olympics concert in 2012Last worn: At the 2018 Tusk Conservation House Awards Banquet
Roland Mouret dress
Photo: Getty

First worn: In 2012 for a dinner hosted by The Thirty Club at ClaridgesLast worn: At the 2013 premeire of Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom
Day Birger et Mikkelsen coat dress
Photo: Getty

First worn: At the 2006 wedding of Laura Parker BowlesThen worn: At the 2011 wedding of Zara PhillipsThen worn: At the 2012 London Paralympic GamesLast worn: In 2016 at the Secretary of State’s annual Garden party
Emilia Wickstead dress
Photo: Getty

First worn: At Queen Elizabeth II’s Sovereign Monarchs Jubilee luncheon in 2012Last worn: Just a few days later, at a Garden Party held in the grounds of Buckingham Palace
Roksanda dress
Photo: Getty

First worn: Arriving at LAX Airport in 2011Last worn: At the UK’s Creative Industries Reception in 2012
Temperley London dress
Photo: Getty

Salma Hayek Pinault receives a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame

Salma Hayek Pinault receives a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame

Salma Hayek Pinault wore Alexander McQueen. Photo: Getty
After giving us a series of noteworthy films over her career—from Fools Rush In (1997) and Frida (2002) to Once Upon a Time in Mexico (2003) and Eternals (2021), Salma Hayek Pinault has been honored with her very own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, Los Angeles. The 55-year-old star, who comes from Lebanese and Mexican roots, unveiled her name on Friday, November 19, and was joined by Grown Ups co-star Adam Sandler, director Chloé Zhao and the mayor of Los Angeles, Eric Garcetti.

For her special afternoon, Hayek Pinault stepped out in a not-so-basic LBD, proving that classics can be revamped for just about any occasion. The star opted for a custom-made ebony creation by Alexander McQueen which came with a corset-style bodice and parachute skirt. The midi was layered with a cropped jacket featuring crystal raindrop embroidery, which matched the embellishment on her dress. To complete her ensemble, Salma Hayek Pinault went with another classic—black pumps. The actor’s glossy ombré locks were styled in romantic waves, and her beauty look was completed with a soft smoky eye and cherry lips.
For Hayek Pinault, receiving a Hollywood star wasn’t just a moment of deep honor, but also a chance for her to share her experiences within the industry with fans. The actor opened up about facing racism, recalling a time when a studio asked her, “Why don’t you go back to the (Mexican) telenovelas? You’ll never find a job here.” At the time, the actor remembers also telling herself, “Nobody wants me here. They want me in my country.” Today, however, her advice is one to remember: “Try to be better. Try to find the joy in what you do. Work hard. Prepare. Don’t care what anybody says. But most importantly, don’t listen to yourself when you bring yourself down.”
Currently celebrating the success of Eternals, Salma Hayek Pinault will next be seen in House of Gucci, which also stars Lady Gaga, Adam Driver and Jared Leto.
Read Next: At 54, Salma Hayek Has Age-Defying Bombshell Style

9 Life-Giving Alexander McQueen Dresses That Look Like Art

9 Life-Giving Alexander McQueen Dresses That Look Like Art

“It feels like now is a time for healing, for breathing new life, for exploring echoes from the past to enrich our future,” says Alexander McQueen creative director Sarah Burton, upon the unveiling of the house’s fall/winter 2021 collection. Catharsis has brought with it great beauty, as the McQueen atelier staff – who gave Vogue a glimpse of how they #WFH – united, more than ever before, to create something meaningful that would resonate with the strange times we’re living in.
“We looked at water, for its healing properties, and at anemones,” continues Burton. “Anemones are the most ephemeral flowers, here made permanent in cloth. The women wearing the anemone dresses almost become like flowers, like their embodiment, their character – but amplified, grounded, radiant and strong.”
In what can be considered the most exquisite two fingers up to anyone who ever said florals were over, Burton splashed anemones over rose gold poly faille dresses with exploded sleeves, and embroidered silver lily pad motifs over ivory silk tulle slips. Shot by Paolo Roversi, each look takes on the “hybrid” theme Burton has explored through previous seasons – check out the T-shirts turned into red-carpet wear and leather jackets that verge on blousons – and runs with it to its most romantic point.
Click through the gallery above to see Alexander McQueen fall/winter 2021 looks worthy of framing.
Read Next: Lebanese Couturier Rami Kadi Recalls His Career’s Favorite Moments Ahead of 10th Anniversary Show
Originally published on Vogue.co.uk

10 White Sneakers to Up Your Shoe Game with Ease This Summer

10 White Sneakers to Up Your Shoe Game with Ease This Summer

If there’s one thing that has never gone out of style, it’s white sneakers. From Adidas Stan Smith to Golden Goose, and with a little help from our favorite celebs such as Kendall Jenner, Gigi Hadid and Hailey Baldwin, white sneakers are a must have for Spring Summer 2021.
From the classics at Loro Piana, to the chunky “dad” sneakers at Roger Vivier, something floral at Valentino, or futuristic, (we’re looking at you Balenciaga) your sneakers should be fabulous enough to speak for themselves.
Scroll down for our gallery below:
Read Next: Will Balenciaga’s Track Sneakers Be The Next to Reach Cult Status?

The 13 Moments That Changed Fashion Forever

The 13 Moments That Changed Fashion Forever

As all 27 editions of Vogue around the world unite under the single theme of creativity, we pay homage to the trailblazing talents who foresaw fashion’s future and made it a reality
Courtesy of Conde Nast Archive

The challenge: describe the role that fashion’s most creative thinkers have played in the major cultural advances of the past century without using the adjectives ‘groundbreaking’, ‘trailblazing’ or ‘gamechanging’.
We’re all familiar with the roll call — Coco Chanel, Elsa Schiaparelli, Christian Dior, Yves Saint Laurent, Karl Lagerfeld, Miuccia Prada, Rei Kawakubo — the figureheads among fashion’s intelligentsia who have each changed the way we think about the world. But, when exactly did their leaps of creativity occur? How did they overrule societal norms? And, whose noses did they put out of joint at the time?
As all 27 editions of Vogue around the world unite under the single theme of creativity this month, we pay homage to the groundbreaking, trailblazing, gamechanging minds who foresaw the future and made it a reality.
These are the 13 moments that changed fashion forever.
Denise Poiret in 1919. Courtesy of Keystone-France

1911: ‘King of Fashion’ Paul Poiret and the birth of the fashion editorial
“More than any other designer of the 20th century, Paul Poiret elevated fashion to the status of an art form” — so goes The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s official strapline for the radical creativity of the Parisian couturier. The Costume Institute’s 2007 exhibition themed in his honor was aptly entitled Paul Poiret, The King of Fashion — his was an ultra-revolutionary reign.
May, 1913: French comedian Cora Laparcerie (1875-1951) as Myriem in a costume by Paul Poiret for the play Le Minaret in Paris. Courtesy of Apic

When Poiret wasn’t staging decadent society balls as an ingenious means to show off his latest designs among his monied clientele, he was doing away with corsets, procuring celebrity ambassadors (enter French stage star Gabrielle Réjane) and officially becoming the first couturier to launch a perfume line. The lightning-rod moment that would change the face of fashion forever came in 1911 when fine-art photographer Edward Steichen shot Poiret’s designs for the April issue of Art et Décoration magazine, in what is now understood to be one of the earliest fashion editorials.
American Vogue 1932. Courtesy of Edward Steichen

Later, in 1932, Steichen would take American Vogue’s first color photo cover, depicting a swimsuit-clad model working out against an azure-blue sky for the magazine’s July issue. The 1929 stock-market crash would force Poiret to shutter operations for good, but his enduring creative legacy would remain the blueprint for a billion-dollar industry that was yet to emerge.
Illustration by Condé Nast.

1926: Coco Chanel’s LBD is introduced to the world in the October issue of Vogue
“These women, I’m bloody well going to dress them in black!” Chanel, ever the iconoclast, famously declared. The result was the LBD, a design that typified Chanel’s egalitarian intentions, announced to the world via an illustration in American Vogue. The artwork depicts a long-sleeved, knee-grazing black dress. The silhouette is demure, conservative even, by today’s standards. Rewind to 1926, however, and the dress epitomized the liberal spirit of the Roaring Twenties. Chanel had flipped the script, dismissing class-driven notions that black clothes were the uniform of house servants and funerals — a move that would become the key to her success.
Photo by Cecil Beaton.

The 1930s: Elsa Schiaparelli headlines artist collaborations, humor, and whip-smart ingenuity  
The Italian-born designer, who made fashion an indissociable part of one of the 20th-century’s greatest art movements, surrealism (epitomized by her 1937 ‘lobster dress’, a collaboration with Salvador Dalí) began with the utilitarian, sporty knit. “During the war, it wasn’t all glamor. She did Hollywood, but also sportswear,” Schiaparelli’s granddaughter Marisa Berenson told Suzy Menkes in 2003. Amid the prohibition era of the 1920s, the designer employed her wit and design acumen with fabled results — “that dress to hide a whisky flask,” Berenson remembers.
Model wearing a Dior decollete dress in 1947. Photo by Nina Leen

1947: Christian Dior unveils the ‘new look’ (and women everywhere want it)
You can’t help but imagine that Dior knew something enormous was about to happen while preparing to reveal his debut collection on February 12, 1947. History remembers the 90 silhouettes that made up the SS47 couture collection, a show that will forever remain one of fashion’s greatest premieres, simply as the “new look“.
The couturier, who had established his atelier at 30 Avenue Montaigne, Paris, just weeks before, in December 1946, signaled a mood-raising fresh start for women everywhere, drawing a line under the austerity of the second world war with a silhouette that luxuriated in femininity and celebrated womanly proportions — the generously full skirt, hourglass waist and trim, sculpted shoulders. A new era had begun.
A model stands on a staircase wearing a Dior suit for Vogue, 1947. Photo by Serge Balkin/Condé Nast via Getty Images

1954: Karl Lagerfeld begins his career in fashion as Pierre Balmain’s assistant 
Decades before Karl Lagerfeld would ascend to Kaiser status at the helm of Chanel in 1983, the young designer would learn the ropes in the shadow of Pierre Balmain — the architect-turned-master-couturier whose designs were described by Diana Vreeland as “the very quintessence of haute couture.” For Lagerfeld, Balmain’s atelier would have been an electrifying invitation into a creative epicenter where costuming stars, including soon-to-be global cinema sensation Brigitte Bardot, was part of his daily duties.
Karl Lagerfeld after winning the coats category in a design competition sponsored by the International Wool Secretariat. The win in 1954 led to Lagerfeld being hired as an assistant to Pierre Balmain. Photo:  Keystone

1961: Roy Halston Frowick designs the pillbox hat Jackie Kennedy wears to her husband’s presidential inauguration 
The midwestern milliner who made a name for himself at Bergdorf Goodman in New York rose to become a household name thanks to one very high-profile client. As the world watched John F Kennedy take the presidential oath, his wife, Jackie Kennedy, would likewise be anointed global cultural icon status.
Halston matched the pillbox design to the duck-egg blue coat by courtier Oleg Cassini — a strikingly ‘clean’ look that was specifically crafted to convey the first lady’s modern outlook. Viewers worldwide leapt upon the hat, an achingly straightforward design that Kennedy accidentally dented during the inauguration ceremony while warding off the wind. “Everybody who copied it put a dent in it,” Halston noted. Eight years later, in 1969, he would launch his mononymous fashion label, Halston, becoming the unofficial outfitter of the Studio 54 era through his signature ultra-luxurious, languid designs.
Washington DC, January 1961: John F Kennedy and wife, Jackie, set off for their inauguration ceremony at the White House. Courtesy of Bettmann

1966: Yves Saint Laurent blurs fashion’s gender lines
The star look of YSL’s FW66 collection, ‘Le Smoking’, was the first tuxedo specifically designed for women — a design influenced by the men’s black-tie suiting worn by artist Niki de Saint Phalle.
The name itself refers to the jacket’s silk lapels that allow for the ash of after-dinner cigarettes to be easily dusted off. In many ways, 1966 seems strikingly late for such a landmark milestone. This was, after all, also the year that thigh-grazing hemlines became the staple of ‘mod’ style, as suburban teenagers and voguish twentysomethings everywhere adopted (and imitated) Mary Quant’s miniskirts. Even against the progressive backdrop of the 1960s, the women’s tuxedo remained a left bank rite of passage, perfect for the androgynous-leaning designs of the ingenious Saint Laurent. Three decades earlier, in 1933, the Paris chief of police had threatened to arrest actor Marlene Dietrich for daring to wear a men’s suit.
Paris, 15 February 1967: an alpaca dinner jacket, jabot blouse and black silk bow-tie for Yves Saint Laurent SS67 haute couture collection. Courtesy of STAFF

1974: Beverly Johnson is the first black model to appear on the cover of American Vogue
“Shifts significant enough to challenge the status quo don’t come around often, but in 1974, when Beverly Johnson appeared on the cover of [American] Vogue’s [August issue], it was a landmark moment. It had taken more than eight decades, but finally, a person of color was fronting the world’s foremost fashion magazine,” Vogue’s Janelle Okwodu wrote in 2016.
To say that Johnson endured the rejections of an industry where racial discrimination was visibly rife is an understatement — an experience that would power her work as an activist and champion of civil rights. “Every model’s dream [is] to be on the cover of Vogue,” Johnson told CNN. “You have arrived when you [make] the cover of Vogue. And then when I found out I was the first person of color on the cover and what that meant, I was like, ‘Wow, this is really a big deal.’”
August 1974: Beverly Johnson is Vogue’s first black cover star. Courtesy of Francesco Scavullo

1976: Calvin Klein is the first designer to show jeans on the runway
In a move that we would today call ‘reading the room’, a young Calvin Klein put workaday denim on the runway. His jeans would, of course, go on to spur a global empire all of their own thanks to one of the 20th century’s most provocative ad campaigns, but look closer and Klein’s early 1970s jeans offered another stroke of genius. His name was stitched on to the right buttock pocket.
1976: Patti Hansen in an ad for Calvin Klein jeans.

1978: Miuccia Prada takes over the family-owned luxury accessories business
The youngest granddaughter of Mario Prada had visionary plans for the family’s Milan-based operations. Prada would show her first ready-to-wear collection for FW88 — a runway show steeped in graceful, yet attitudinal silhouettes.
“I’m not a fashion designer, I’m who I am,” she reportedly told critics within the company at the time. In the same admission, she went on to reveal her creative sweet spot. “I love to be in that place between displeasing people but intriguing everybody, probably. To do something normal that looks deeply strange.”
Italian fashion designer Miuccia Prada adjusting clothes on Italian-French top model Carla Bruni. Photo by Vittoriano Rastelli

1982: Rei Kawakubo shocks Paris Fashion Week
“In 1981, when Rei Kawakubo started showing her Comme des Garçons collections in Paris, she already had a loyal Japanese following known as ‘the crows’,” Vogue’s Laird Borrelli-Persson wrote in 2017. Kawakubo’s artistic exploration of the color black was an established signature of her own eminent style and that of her early fans (of which she had many). If the 1980s was the era of Wall Street excess, Thatcherism and flashy power suiting, Kawakubo’s instinctive work was the counterpoint. News spread fast through Paris Fashion Week’s gilded salons.
Comme des Garçons spring/summer 1995. Photo by Guy Marineau

From the moment she first began making clothes in the 1970s, Kawakubo’s aim was to design for a woman “who is not swayed by what her husband thinks”. She had no formal design training, as writer Judith Thurman noted in her 2005 profile for The New Yorker, which was an asset when establishing one of fashion’s most revered avant-garde enterprises. “She often says that she’s grateful to have skipped fashion school or an apprenticeship because, in the end, even if she can’t sew or cut a pattern, she had no preconceptions to unlearn and no master to outgrow.”
Alexander McQueen’s Central Saint Martins graduate show in 1992.

1992: Alexander McQueen graduates from Central Saint Martins 
McQueen’s prodigious talent for mythologized storytelling was already in full flow by the time he’d finished work on his 1992 CSM graduate collection. The designer, who had honed his skills as an apprentice on Savile Row, entitled his end of year coursework, Jack the Ripper Stalks His Victims.
The collection, which was shown as part of a group show alongside his contemporaries, gave a deeply personal thrust to the notion of ‘the heroine’. Some pieces were even adorned with encapsulated human hair. “The inspiration behind the hair came from Victorian times when prostitutes would sell theirs for kits of hair locks, which were bought by people to give to their lovers,” McQueen revealed in a 1997 Time Out interview. “I used it as my signature label with locks of hair in Perspex. In the early collections, it was my own hair.”
Marc Jacobs for Perry Ellis spring/summer 1993. Courtesy of Conde Nast Archive

1992: Marc Jacobs delivers a dose of reality on the runway 
Jacobs’ charismatically rebellious spirit was potent enough to ensure he was both hired and fired by American sportswear label Perry Ellis in the early 1990s. They weren’t prepped for the designer’s infamous ‘grunge’ SS93 catwalk show, but, then again, neither was anyone else.
Plaid, proportion play and silhouettes that hinted to suburban thrift (including shrunken babydoll dresses and antique-styled slip dresses) were about to become a catwalk staple at New York Fashion Week where, just as in music, a changing of the guard was taking place. In less than 30 minutes, Jacobs had put a spoke in the wheel of high fashion, offering something entirely accessible that mirrored a universal youth movement that was in full flow.
Read Next: All 27 Vogues Unite on The Creativity Issue: A Global Celebration of Fashion’s Artistic Spirit
Originally published on Vogue.co.uk

Why Sarah Burton’s Inclusive World at Alexander McQueen Is The Way Forward

Why Sarah Burton’s Inclusive World at Alexander McQueen Is The Way Forward

The upper room of Alexander McQueen’s Bond Street flagship store has been transformed into a studio. “Anybody can come. Schoolchildren come, teenagers come, grandparents come,” Burton says. “It’s really a space for everybody to see how we put the collection together.”
The first #McQueenCreators was inspired by the brand’s Roses installation at their New Bond Street open studio

Demystifying the design process and promoting a democratic side of fashion has been a longtime McQueen trait; Lee himself came from a working class background and would rely upon the instinctive skill and creativity of young students and interns to assist in the creation of his early collections. “Everyone should have the door opened to them,” says current Alexander McQueen creative director Sarah Burton during the virtual Vogue Forces of Fashion 2020 summit. “There’s no hierarchy of ideas – it’s a really collaborative process,” she continues, referring to her team and their efforts to stay creative during lockdown by sketching or using dead-stock to drape and create shapes in their kitchens. She received “inspiring” pictures of their efforts, which have only served to substantiate her resolute hoarding of everything from old fabrics to Lee’s drawings (“He had a memory like an elephant, so I never threw anything away.”)
Sarah Burton talking to Sarah Mower during Vogue’s Forces of Fashion 2020 summit

Back in April, the brand further built on their idea of creative community by launching a social media project to inspire a conversation that anyone and everyone could be a part of. Each week, a moodboard was released on the brand’s Instagram and followers would be invited to engage artistically with their favorite images and #McQueenCreators – a visual dialogue began.
Alexander McQueen Fall 2019 / Courtesy of Vogue Runway

“I love the idea of imperfection in beauty,” says Burton, describing the draping and pinning process she used to create the exquisite and exaggerated ‘rose’ dresses for Fall 2019. “We wanted [the model] to become a rose,” she continues, explaining that her design process is always “very organic” and collaborative, even if her method might veer from sketching to draping to 3D design. Recalling the moment Lee altered a dress backstage just minutes before the Sarabande Spring 2007 show, taking away the tulle wrapping that held in place hundreds of live roses so that they gradually fell off as the model walked, it’s clear Burton values ‘the process’ of creative expression just as much as the final result.
While 2020 has certainly been a challenge for designers, Burton has enjoyed a different pace, too, referring to the past few months as a time to “cleanse the palette”, be more creative and really consider how things are made. Reciting a quote, “Nothing is impossible, you just have to try,” Burton reflects that it is one of the biggest lessons she learned from Lee, someone whose creative genius and collaborative instinct lives on within the community at McQueen.
Read Next: Anna Wintour Joins These A-list Models To Explain Why Fashion Needs To Be Size Inclusive

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