Monday Muse: Henri Matisse Inspires Alexander McQueen Resort 2015
Posted on: November 24, 2015 /
Traditionally, Alexander McQueen shows and presentations draw inspiration from nature, history and the realm of fantasy. And that makes for a show that’s full of drama and amazing clothes, but where does a girl wear a feathered gown or a bustier dress crafted from leather and antique lace? With a customer base that includes Kate Middleton and plenty of women who don’t run the gala circuit every season, McQueen’s Sarah Burton chose to focus on the clothes that women actually wear in their day-to-day lifves for the label’s resort collection. And to do that, she was inspired by the latest Henri Matisse exhibit at London’s Tate Modern (along with the whole of London, it seems) to create clothes that blended bright colors, menswear staples and more.
Much like McQueen himself, Matisse was first seen as a revolutionary and then later, upheld as one of the most prominent figures in his field. Though he’s most well known for his paintings, Matisse began his career as a draughtsman, a sculptor and a printmaker. At first, his work seemed completely radical, blending strong organic shapes with bold hyper-bright hues. But as his career progressed, Matisse was seen as a revolutionary in the blended field of painted sculpture in the plastic arts (his buddies Picasso and Duchamp were also among those working in the medium) and even became renowned as a classic painter in the French tradition. Today, his most well known works span from all over his over 50 year career, including early paintings in his Fauve movement and later in his collage and sculpture works.
Alexander McQueen Resort 2015
Much like Matisse’s work, the collection that Sarah Burton presented for Resort 2015 included the mashup of tradition and futurism.
The colors, which included Kabuki-tinged black and red pieces in addition to inky blues and right cobalts, drew from the bold, saturated colors of Matisse’ work, but the shapes that Burton showed drew from McQueen’s most recent menswear show. Prince of Wales checks and deep navy leather leant themselves to the menswear feel and traditional British Saville Row detail drew from McQueen’s roots.
In keeping with her clientele, royal or not, hemlines were kept at a modest knee length and there was nary a red carpet gown to be seen. Instead, the McQueen girl will have to make do with elongated sleeveless shifts done up in curvilinear shapes and Matisse-inspired floral embroidery, which also appeared on cocktail sheaths, etched into nappa leather and sprinkled on coat dresses and full skirts. It may not have filled the quotient for awe and fantasy (there’s next season for that) but instead, it was a collection that will most certain fill the closet of just about every girl out there that loves a little art mixed in with her fashion.
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