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· Fashion Notes: Alexander McQueen Spring/Summer 2004

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Fashion Notes: Alexander McQueen Spring/Summer 2004
by The Kindly One

Though I've always loved Alexander McQueen's work, there's very little of it I would wear. Generally, his work is much more feminine in both structure and mentality than I feel comfortable wearing, and I think I need more curves to really pull off his beautiful suits. In fact, I only realized recently that the greatest part of McQueen's allure for me is McQueen himself - his image as the iconoclast both of the fashion machine and fighting against it, his incredible and unwavering commitment to his personal design sense, and, most of all, his emotionality and thoughtfulness in his productions. Though McQueen's clothes consistently reinforce his design sense, it's through his productions, not necessarily his clothes, that his character is exposed. Strip away the typical fashion claptrap about his being the "enfant terrible" or "the intellectual" and his shows reveal a sensitive man who feels deeply and offers a very specific, thoughtful response to the world around him, whether he's responding to the fashion industry, the increasing "speed" of life, or political issues. Due to this thoughtfulness and sensitivity, I've always felt an affinity with McQueen and - oddly, since I've never met the man - the sort of emotional connection you have with those who experience the world as you do.

Emotions aside, I also love McQueen's visual sense. He's able to convey thoughts and moods without ever saying the words, something I strive in to do in my work, as so much of thought and emotion in real life is never said out loud. As such, I am particularly fond of his Spring/Summer 2004 show, in which he allows physicality to demonstrate his thoughts on the economy, the war, and the then-pace of the world. The advantages of this are twofold, in that 1) words can always lie, but the body rarely does, and 2) the viewer has the pleasure of watching a great McQueen production.

This show is my personal favorite of McQueen's, as it deals so beautifully and poetically with the misguided assumptions of the time and their inevitable consequences. Before watching the videos above, I would advise starting with this primer from Fashion Television, which summarizes McQueen's thought process behind the show, its historical context, and the show itself. After this, watch the show videos above and get blown away by the show's sheer emotional impact. Though neither video includes the music actually used in the show (the first video doesn't even have music), this show is primarily about visual consequence, the impact of which isn't affected by sound. And what an impact it is - you really get a sense of exhaustion and the inability to keep up a relentless pace. It's a beautiful , powerful display of an idea that outlines itself without words, without intellectualizing, just through experience.

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