While at work today (wearing an exaggerated red and black houndstooth pencil skirt) I had a flashback to my favorite fall collection; the black, white and red explosion that will always be Alexander McQueen’s The Horn of Plenty Fall 2009 RTW collection.
Lee McQueen was all about drama and showmanship in his work. Models made-up with hyper sexualized lips walked around a heap of black garbage (mostly props from his past shows) covered head to toe in harsh shapes and outrageous accessories mocking designers’ constant desire to recycle looks from the past.
The Horn of Plenty was Lee’s commentary on modern fashion and the fashion industry. Each piece, though modern and macabre, brought a hint of something from the past like spoofing classic brands Dior and Givenchy and classic suit and dress shapes of the 40s and 50s. It was McQueens perspective on modern fashion and the state of luxury goods; recycled, violent and rapidly approaching extinction.
His collection took all of those often negative elements and made them live and breathe. Model after model hit the stage in increasingly eye-popping designs. Models wore dresses made of feathers, dyed black as if made from a raven.
Though McQueen was known for designing collections that created controversy, none of his shows made quite as big a splash as The Horn of Plenty. In a trite season his collection stood out as innovative and provocative.
Of course like any of his collections he executed the construction and presentation flawlessly. Though the tone of the collection is edgy and angry the clothes were constructed with the same time and care put into some of his more romantic collections of the past.
Details like studded collars, plastic head-wraps, sky-high platforms and insane headpieces (by Philip Treacy) made the collection come alive. Even watching the show online now is a spectacle with each piece challenging the boundaries of fashion and demanding attention.
McQueen used classic pieces like the peacoat and houndstooth pattern and turned them up to 11.
With this show he challenged fashion’s cyclical tendency of garnering inspiration from its own past.
Here are a few of the looks I love– though I love them all. WATCH parts of the runway show on Style.com.
Photos from style.com, head over there for tons more as well as great shots of the details of each piece…