Utter the words 'Alexander McQueen' to any fashion enthusiast and their eyes are sure to light up. The luxury house and late designer have become symbols of ingenuity and innovation, responsible for some of the most memorable fashion moments over the last few decades.
McQueen himself has been described as one of fashion's greatest showmen, having pioneered the popularity of the fashion show spectacle. Look to any list of iconic runways throughout history and Alexander McQueen's Spring 1999 catwalk will undoubtedly be on it. Shalom Harlow's staring role being spray painted atop a rotating platform is still regularly referenced today by editors and designers, alike.
The house's Spring/Summer 2010 collection complete with reptilian-inspired designs and those incredibly unique arched 'Armadillo' shoes is another one for the history books and can be credited as the moment that helped this particular editor fall in love with the fantasy of fashion.
Of course, when it comes to iconic designs, there is no shortage of standouts to choose from, and while it might not be practical to wear some couture creations on a daily basis, you can take the brand's wearable art with you in the form of its accessories.
Indeed, the house's statement-making handbag collection offers customers a way to bring the magic of McQueen into their everyday lives, and the new additions have all the hallmarks of It-bags in the making.
The Biker Jewelled Satchel
First launched in 2018, Alexander McQueen's rectangular jewelled satchel bag has been reinvented a few times since its inception, with bold cross-body straps, different hardware additions and varied fabrications, appearing in several different combinations.
Though, throughout all of this reimaging, the one element that has remained constant is the item's distinctive four-ring feature. Also seen on the Jewelled Hobo bag below, this hardware has become a hallmark of McQueen's accessories.
As the brand describes, the knuckle feature was first introduced by McQueen himself and was inspired by London street culture, created to "juxtapose urban toughness with the beauty and refinement of jewellery." Each duster has four rings, which are topped with contrasting symbols, including two skulls placed alongside a crystal and a flower-covered design.
Over the years, these symbols have all become synonymous with Alexander McQueen's collection, though none more prominently than the skull motif.
As an element in McQueen's creations, the skull symbol can be traced back as early as 1992, when the designer used the feature in his Central Saint Martins graduate collection entitled, 'Jack the Ripper Stalks His Victims.' The skull motif has since become a part of the brand's house codes, used across everything from scarves to jewellery and handbags.
The Jewelled Hobo Bag
Featuring details that have been plucked straight from the house codes, The Jewelled Hobo bag would be instantly-recognisable to any fan of the brand. Utilising the label's knuckleduster hardware and skull motif, the accessory is quintessential McQueen.
Originally debuted as a part of the house's Pre-Spring 2023 collection, the Jewelled Hobo is one of the brand's newer bags, though it has already solidified itself as a favourite in its short history. Recently, the bag has been toted by the likes of Naomi Campbell, Taylor Russel and Michelle Yeoh, while It-girl Sadie Sink also appears holding the bag in the brand's Spring/Summer 2023 campaign.
According to McQueen, the bag's facetted triangular silhouette was inspired by the large stone that sits within the knuckleduster design, reflecting the flat surfaces that sit on the diamond shape. Meanwhile, the four-ring hardware has been borrowed from McQueen's previous designs, emulating the aesthetic of the Jewelled Biker Satchel above.
With a little research, it becomes clear McQueen's accessories are more than just bags. They're portable pieces of artwork that can be taken with you, holding all the symbolism and spirit evoked by the label since its creation in 1992. Not for the faint of heart, McQueen's Jewelled Hobo and Biker Satchell bag should be carried by those intent on making a statement.
Shop the Alexander McQueen Jewelled Hobo and Biker Jewelled Satchel
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Zoe Anastasiou is a Fashion Editor with over eight years of experience working across digital publications in New York, London and Australia. She has contributed to publications including Harper’s BAZAAR and ELLE Australia, and was the Fashion and Social Media Editor at Who What Wear UK before joining Marie Claire.
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