Alexander McQueen Paris Fall 2006
"For this collection, McQueen delved into his past, revisiting his Scottish family roots and refining the contents of the rampaging tartan
"Highland Rape" show with which he began his career in London in the early nineties. Shorn of its original rawness and anger,
the result was a poetic and technically accomplished tale that involved romantic images of Scottish fantasy heroines wandering
glens and castle halls in vaguely Victorian tartan crinolines, bird-wing or antler-and-lace headdresses, feathered gowns, and pieces
made from brocades that might have been dragged down from ancient wall-hangings.
Some of McQueen's references—like the ones that influenced his sinuous black velvet dresses—appeared to be culled from
pre-Raphaelite paintings of Lady Macbeth; others, like a fierce, bell-skirted warrior-woman plaid dress with lace armlets, seemed
to owe more to punk. On the down-to-earth side, there was plenty of McQueen's sharp and salable tailoring on show, and
some great coats, like a herringbone fur chesterfield. Before the show ended, there was an astonishing feat of techno-magic
where Inside an empty glass pyramid, a mysterious puff of white smoke appeared from nowhere and spun in midair,
slowly resolving itself into the moving, twisting shape of a woman enveloped in the billowing folds of a white dress.
It was Kate Moss, her blonde hair and pale arms trailing in a dream-like apparition of fragility and beauty that
danced for a few seconds, then shrank and dematerialized into the ether. This vision was in fact a state-of-the-art
hologram—a piece by the video maker Baillie Walsh, art-directed by McQueen. The gown, a pale cascade
of multiple organza ruffles, wasn't just an optical effect, though. It subsequently reappeared in the collection's
victory line up, which wound its way around the glass box as the audience was still reverberating with wonder at
witnessing this incredible event. The ecstatic applause was primarily in honor of the experience—a memory that
will go down as one of fashion's all-time highs."