Diving for McQueen: A conversation with Sarah Burton and Cathy Horyn

Fashion critic Cathy Horyn enters the folds of Sarah Burton's Alexander McQueen Spring 2012 collection.

Released on 6/13/2013

Credits

Starring: Sarah Burton

Transcript

00:10
(ocean waves)
00:32
(mellow music)
00:49
[Interviewer] So, this is pleating, but it's pleating
00:51
that seems more random.
00:53
Or maybe it's just the fact that
00:55
it's going in different directions
00:57
or in different panels.
00:58
It was based a bit on, you know, anatomical shapes,
01:02
and then the gaudy, sort of, curves and waves
01:05
and art nouveau.
01:06
And then with these we wanted them to look like shells,
01:09
but actually, they waves of chiffon
01:13
cut in this mother of pearl print,
01:14
so it's they're all circles, and they have a wave design,
01:18
and then the découpe in seven different sizes
01:21
all the way down, so if you look under here,
01:23
they're all stitched on, so they're tiny circles,
01:26
they're sort of small circles stitched all the way around,
01:28
but it was actually quite mathematical to do this.
01:37
A McQueen woman anyway, she has to feel powerful,
01:39
she's never going to be, it's never a girly-girl,
01:41
she's always a woman.
01:43
I always find that unless you have a shoulder
01:47
or unless you have some of a waist,
01:48
whatever proportion it is,
01:52
a McQueen woman doesn't ever seem to wear
01:53
something that's boxy, for instance,
01:54
she has to have an element,
01:56
that's fitted, whether it's the shoulder or the waist,
01:58
she doesn't, whatever makes you try to do something
02:00
that will loose the shape, it's not a McQueen woman.
02:03
I mean it's quite, these ones are sort of anemones,
02:05
these ones here,
02:08
Oh these are great, yeah.
02:10
And again then these are all circles, cut
02:13
and then hand-massaged like this to create
02:15
sort of an anemone effect, look at the gaudy
02:17
art nouveau references.
02:20
You know you want what we wear is making a statement
02:22
about the period of history we live in,
02:25
so I think that, I think he felt very much an obligation
02:27
every time to say what he meant.
02:30
McQueen was McQueen, and McQueen was driven
02:32
by so many things, just as Galliano is driven
02:35
by so many ideas, and Karl, they all--or (inaudible),
02:41
I mean, this infatuation with post-war film types,
02:45
and North African culture, and it all blended in
02:48
in Paris and all that.
02:51
He really wanted to have a message about what he felt
02:55
about society in a way, at the time for himself.
02:58
Yeah, there's kids who are in the early twenties
03:00
and the world is changing right in front of them.
03:04
Will they have jobs as photographers?
03:05
Will they have jobs as designers?
03:07
Will they have jobs as writers?
03:09
What place will they have?
03:10
Will they be able to express themselves?
03:12
You almost feel like so many people
03:13
want to be the designer now, so many people
03:15
want to be the photographer now,
03:17
and what I find quite sad is that you can't find
03:20
many passing cutters, you can't find many people
03:22
who want to live the craft of it.
03:25
So I tell the young people that, you know,
03:27
you can be a really good reporter,
03:30
and you know, Paris is a small world.
03:32
You don't need to go to the shows per se,
03:35
you can see them online, but start talking to people,
03:37
and find out what's going on in the houses,
03:39
and be a really good Bob Woodward of the fashion world.
03:43
And they wonder, well, what if I don't
03:46
get invited to the show?
03:47
And I'm like, it's not about that.
03:49
You want to be able to have information
03:51
that nobody else has, those are reporting skills.
03:54
Why do you think that there is this thing of,
03:58
I don't know if you feel it, but I feel it as a journalist,
04:00
people doiing the same things on the runway,
04:02
even if it's slightly different.
04:03
You have to bring it back to the house
04:05
where you're working, so if you're going to be
04:06
inspired by somebody, or a theme or whatever it is,
04:11
it has to somehow relate to what the house is about,
04:14
so the great thing about the way that Lee worked,
04:17
and the way that we work, is we never look
04:19
at fashion references, it's very much that you create
04:23
the world of the story and you go with that.
04:25
You know, very much what would McQueen do?
04:28
It would be lit and it would be weighted.
04:30
But I find it very strange that everybody does seem to have
04:34
the same sort of thing, so you think,
04:36
gosh, who's talking to who?
04:37
But somehow, very, especially underwater this season.
04:40
(crashing waves)