Friday, February 12, 2010

Will the legacy live on? ....

I'm pretty certain you all would have seen enough 'R.I.P' posts about McQueen by now. While I'm tremendously disappointed by this loss of talent, it'll be an irrational thing to say I'm mourning in melancholy. What's been on my mind though, is what will happen now to the house of Lee? What options will Gucci Group (the brand Alexander McQueen is under ownership of The Gucci Group FYI) select? In my mind I could only think of 2:

1) Shut down the house of McQueen completely, make it one of those fashion houses that defines history, and wait until they find the next bright star from St Martins who owns up to the legend to revive it from the old archive (like what happened to the latest Vionnet and Halston). This seems like a wise and safe choice, since it maintains the prestige image of McQueen, and does not let the brand go down the path of licensing like Pierre Cardin, Balmain and Lanvin.

2) Keep the house alive, because, as sad as it is, the amount of $$$ they'll be making from those skull scarves and skull everything will increase exponentially from this tragic event. This, however, is not as easy as it may sound, because the pressure to instantly find someone that is skilled and brave enough to step up to the throne of the mastermind is almost impossible. One criterion is almost certain: the heir/ess MUST BE a member of the Union Jacks, and, preferrably, graduated from St Martins. I've had a few picks in mind:

a) Roksanda Ilincic certainly has a flare for drama and romance, which are two of McQueen's distinct design qualities, though Roksanda's romance is a bit too ... romantic. It doesn't have that air of darkness that certainly breathes through MCQ's collections. In short, Roksanda's more Romeo&Juliet, while McQueen's a definite MacBeth/King Lear.

b) The duo from Peter Pilotto does amazing prints and colours, which is something Mr Lee never failed to exceed, but PP's clothes are too fluid, they have too much freedom. They lack that restraint sharp tailoring that we love about Mr M's clothes.

c) Gareth Pugh seems like a perfect choice. Extravaganza? tick. Dark romance? Tick. Play with geometry? Double ticks. But where's the wearability? the ultra sharp tailoring? the constant reference to all things Brit?

d) My top pick, which I'm sure many people would find appropriate, is the uber talented Christopher Kane. The boy seems to hold most of the late McQueen's qualities. The bad boy attitude, the grungy romance, the Brit-ness, the sharp silouhette and ultimately, the ability to transform "stage" clothes to "commercial" clothes. What we've yet to see from his past shows is the exuberant drama and couture construction oozing out from every outfit. But that'll come with age, and financial support. Saying that, I doubt Mama Donatella would let him part from the Italian family, especially after sucha successful Versus presentation?

Whatever happens, I'm glad I can later tell my offspring I once lived in McQueen time. Whether the fashion house will stay or not, his legacy lives on.

Mr Alexander Lee McQueen, you will be missed :).


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