Borty's World

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Alexander McQueen Lives On March 8, 2010

Filed under: Motley Fashions — Courtney Michelle @ 10:35 PM
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I wanted to wait until the hoopla surrounding his death had simmered down a bit before making a post.  Alexander (Lee) McQueen was and still is one of my favorite designers.  I literally cried when I heard the news on February 11, 2009; ironically the first day of Fashion Week.  I didn’t cry because I knew him personally, but because he was inspiring.  An inspiration to all us weird, quirky kids who weren’t exactly the coolest growing up because of our oddness; however we had an obessession with being creative.

His garments were like no-other; always twenty steps ahead of everyone else and completely outside the box.  You know that trendy motorcycle jacket everyone’s been wearing lately?  Yeah, McQueen had one ripping the runway back in Fall 2008.

Bloggers and publications have stated that  McQueen may have committed suicide due to the loss of his close friend and mother.  Renowned fashion editor Isebella Blow was not only a friend, but his mentor.  When she committed suicide in 2007, McQueen was crushed; devoting an entirely separate collection and show to her.  In 2008, it seemed he had begun to move on; moving into a new home, ending a long-term relationship, and telling Vogue he had “never been happier”.  Until the death of his mother at the beginning of last month; just days before he took his own life.  Those in the industry close to him have said they did not see anything signaling any suicidal thoughts.  I have stated to friends that we should have known something was wrong when there wasn’t a Pre-Fall collection.

McQueen was so innovative and “experimental”, his next move was to try to create holograms that would allow anyone anywhere to view his collections in three dimensions.  Beginning his career as a young apprentice in London, McQueen applied to become a cutting tutor at Central Saint Martins.  Recognizing his talent, the administrators suggested he enroll as a student- Isabella Blow bought his thesis collection two years later.  At age 27, McQueen became head designer at Givenchy, but left for the Gucci group after stating LVMH constricted his creativity.

And we all know how wide his ideas can stretch.  Runways covered in water, snow, robots, and any other unbelievable concoction one can think of.  The following images are from my favorite collection of McQueen’s, RTW Fall 2009; the runway is made of broken mirrors, equip with barbwire.  Critiques and those at the show were appalled by the images of the models and their faces, but the clothes are amazing and honestly the odd make-up compels me to look.

Always the one to set trends and not follow them, McQueen was my fave because of that fact.  Not caring what anyone thought and still added passion to every garment he created.  Researching his inspiration for collections was also apparent; one could see when he completely engulfed himself in his creations.  We will never know the exact reason as to why or what triggered Alexander McQueen to take his own life, but the fashion industry will continue to celebrate the life of the most forward-thinking designer and he will truly be missed.  ~C.M.

Check out McQueen’s final collection: Spring 2010.  I’ve literally watched this show over 26 times.

On March 9, 2009, WWD reported and showcased McQueen’s last pieces created for Fall 2009.  See the article and looks here: WWD McQueen Fall 2009


Prints for Chicks January 31, 2010

Okay, okay- the trend this year is prints, WE GET IT.  The only catch is that not every woman is meant to wear them and although designers are making beautiful garments that look perfect on the hanger, once it reaches the body….not so much.

Take this Just Cavalli, leopard print pencil skirt for example. Gorgeous. However, take a closer look at the stomach area:

To me, it is not flattering; imagine if you weren’t a size 2! The eye is drawn to her stomach.  And look from the back:

The seams are at a curve to go along with the frame of the body, however her bum looks like a square.  Now I’m not sure if that’s a personal problem, or if the skirt itself is just not flattering.  I’ll go with the latter.  The ruching and gathering in the front is distracting.  Pencil skirts are already shaky, but if you go with a printed number; make sure you choose wisely on the prints, where the pattern falls on the body, and the fit is right for your body type.

Another example of a printed beauty not meant for everyone: the Alexander McQueen silk chiffon dress below.  Paisley print strapless, pleated bodice, with an empire waist, interior hardware, padding, and boning for support in the bust. I love this dress; can see it flowing with the wind while walking.  But the model has a 24in waist and she looks slightly pregnant; that’s the problem with empire waists as well. Unless you’re as thin as a twig, I wouldn’t recommend this particular dress.

“S”-shaped silhouette dresses are (typically) ideal for all body types.  Beneath the A. McQueen is a floral Diane Von Furstenberg, strapless piece; and a striped, slightly pleated, high-waist Marc Jacobs skirt.  In my opinion, both can be worn to disguise those unwanted layers and create a silhouette.  Careful not to wear flats with these looks though; that could make some legs appear stubby.  ~C.M.



McQueen vs. Madden December 21, 2009

Filed under: Motley Fashions — Courtney Michelle @ 5:23 PM
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The worst possible thing that could happen to someone is having an idea, creating it, selling the product; then having a copy made by another individual and sold for profit. Popular, name brand designers have had to deal with the threat of knock-offs…well, forever.

Talented (and slightly off) designer Alexander McQueen is suing retailer Steve Madden for Copy & Design Infringement.

In January 2009 McQueen released the “Faithful” leather bootie- inspired by a motorcycle jacket, made of black leather with an open toe and leather jacket-inspired design elements. Shortly after, Madden released a similar shoe, described as a “studied imitation”, which looks exactly like the “Faithful” bootie. McQueen quickly filed suit for Design Infringement October 1, 2009 after a “cease and desist” letter that was sent to Madden from McQueen’s lawyers went unanswered in September.

McQueen “Faithful” bootie on the left, Madden on the right.

The shoe is covered under the Copyright Act: it is a published “creative work” and a tangible form of expression. Madden copied the entire shoe from top to bottom; the only thing not copied was the Alexander McQueen logo on the zipper. According to court documents, the McQueen original gained recognition after being spotted on the feet of celeb women such as Rihanna, an Olson twin, and others.

It is Team McQueen’s belief that Madden had the intent to sell and capitalize off the popularity of the shoe due to commercial exposure. McQueen is seeking injunction, barring Madden from selling the items. (It seems they need to go after Aldo as well, I seen a look-a-like pair there a few weeks ago.) In the suit documents, McQueen is suing for infringement on trade of the dress, profits of wrongful acts plus interest, delivery of infringing goods for destruction, legal fees, and relief.

Sometimes I wonder if designers use it as a compliment; Karl Lagerfeld is constantly being knocked-off. He says he uses it as a form of flattery and uses that push to produce the next thing to be on top of the totem pole. In the case of knock-offs, high-end designers would be suing the pants off everyone. However, Madden does do a knock-off every-now-and-then with a slight twist; but these boots are an exact replica. If one was not use to looking at the quality of leather, he or she would never know the difference.

Sheesh! You may think you’re getting a steal with the knock-off, but it seems Madden is going to be the one to pay the ultimate price. ~ C.M.

Peep the matching McQueen bag to the Faithful bootie. HOT.