Monday, March 8, 2010
Alexander McQueen might be gone, but we still have a a couple of showmen/women left, Viktor Horsting and Rolf Snoeren at the top of the list. The Dutch duo is renowned for the theatricality of its shows (which frequently upstage the actual collections). Some experiments have gone wrong – a case in point the Fall Winter 2007/2008 show from three years ago, in which models were forced to walk the runway in bizarre metal light rig harnesses. Noone ate the catwalk and just as well, as they could have seriously injured themselves. The duo was subsequently widely accused of misogyny (a common criticism of McQueen). Here is the post I did from that show from Paris for smh.com.au. No such criticism of Saturday’s show, which is being billed as one of the best of the season, if not the best.
The collection, called ‘Glamour Factory’, was set against a monchromatic backdrop painted with graphics of industrial cogs.
The predominantly black and grey collection would most likely have passed largely unnoticed had it not been for the clever staging, which starred 43 year-old American model Kristen McMenamy in her second runway outing this season, after Calvin Klein's show in New York three weeks ago.
McMenamy wore 23 looks. All at once.
Piled, Russian doll-like, under layers of coats and dresses, she walked to a rotating disc in the middle of the runway and stood there like a store mannequin, while the designers peeled off the layers right down to a nude-coloured corset.
As the duo undressed McMenamy, they dressed each of the remainder of the model cast – every last one of them, as per usual, young enough to be McMenamy's daughter - in her discarded clothes. Think Jamie Lee Curtis and Lindsay Lohan in Freaky Friday, just swapping sporty fur-lined anoraks, tweed boyfriend jackets and bodysuits, satin smoking jackets and LBDs, instead of minds.
By all accounts, McMenamy was re-dressed in the garments as the models returned from their turns on the runway.
The climax was delivered by way of a giant panniered skirt which was inverted and transformed on McMenamy via a drawstring, to a cape with a behemoth Elizabethan collar.
You had to be there obviously. But for everyone who wasn’t, the above video gives a taste. Here is the entire collection in photos.
Needless to say, no backstage dressers were required.
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