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