We take a look at the iconic pieces due to be auctioned at Passion for Fashion next month
If you’re excited about the V&A’s Alexander McQueen ‘Savage Beauty’ retrospective in 2015, imagine the thrill of actually owning an iconic piece of clothing designed by the ‘l’enfant terrible’ himself.
For just a few lucky individuals, imagination could soon be a reality. On December 9, key McQueen pieces are set to go under the hammer as part of Kerry Taylor Auctions’ Passion for Fashion in London.
Featuring Lee’s controversial ‘Bumster’ trousers from his 1994 ‘Nihilism’ collection, ecclesiastical robe-dresses that starred in his 1998 ‘Joan’ collection and not one – but three – Givenchy haute couture gowns, we all better start saving those pennies in preparation for the big day.
For everyone else (who are we trying to kid), let’s take a look at just a few of Lee McQueen’s spectacular creations due for sale next month and celebrate the theatrically-thrilling work of a designer the fashion world lost far too soon.
Introducing the fantastical world of Alexander McQueen…
The ‘Bumster’ trousers
The year was 1993 and in an art deco garage on the Kings Road everyone was talking about new-kid-on-the-fashion-block Alexander McQueen and his ‘Bumster’ trousers. Some may have mocked them as builder-bum nonsense – lowered waistbands emphasized the waist and elongated the torso – but they were an overnight sensation and put Lee on the map. In fact. They even inspired the ‘90s revival of low-rise jeans, with the likes of Britney Spears adopting the look.
McQueen wasn’t called ‘the hooligan of English fashion’ for nothing as the A/W 1996 ‘bumster’ skirts on sale next month illustrate. Though many blasted the young designer for glorifying rape with his ‘Highland Rape’ collection, McQueen insisted his vision was inspired by what he saw as the rape of Scottish culture. Nonetheless, torn and blood-splattered bodices and a catwalk strewn with heather shocked us all with its take on his dystopian Wuthering Heights. According to Kerry Taylor Auctions, little of this collection survives as the entire collection was dumped into bin bags after the show and later seized by debt collectors.
The ‘Joan’ collection
No, not Joan from Mad Men: Joan of Arc. For his A/W 1998-9 ‘Joan’ collection, McQueen cited ‘The Maid of Orleans’ as his inspiration, AKA Jeanne d’Arc. Its climax? A scarlet beaded dress symbolising Joan’s bloody fate, burned at the stake. This grey papal robe with exquisite buttoning detail, on sale next month, represents the grey liturgical cloth worn by the priests who deserted Joan in her hour of need.
The Givenchy years
McQueen might not have lasted long succeeding John Galliano to design for Givenchy (1997-2001) but his sensational designs live on timelessly. This short tartan dress is taken from his A/W 1997-8 ‘Eclect-Dissect’ collection indulging Lee in his love of both historical drama and Scottish fabric.
Nothing made us gasp louder in the office than this divine Givenchy couture silver-beaded evening gown. It may have been showcased in 1998 but its elegance begs to be worn by Audrey Hepburn harking back to a bygone era. This time taking his inspiration from Japan, sari-silk , tulle, crystal beads and a 36 inch long train makes up this beaut of a dress.
Better start saving fast, right ladies?
The Kerry Taylor Auction takes place on Tuesday 9th December at 2pm in London. For more info, click here.