WOMEN'S AUTUMN/WINTER 2009 "THE HORN OF PLENTY"

SUBTITLED 'EVERYTHING BUT THE KITCHEN SINK', THE CONCEPT HERE IS A PLAY BETWEEN A PROFOUND RESPECT FOR AND THE SUBVERSION OF THE HAUTE COUTURE TRADITION.

The set features a pile of debris – everything from rubbish bags and crushed car parts to broken fairground horses and castaway chairs – much of it recycled props from past McQueen shows. The clothes themselves draw on haute couture signatures – Dior’s iconic hounds tooth check, the elegance of Audrey Hepburn in Givenchy – and takes them apart at the seams. Aforementioned check breaks away into a magpie print inspired by M.C. Escher, or is scarred with vinyl reminiscent of the splatter paintings of Jackson Pollock. Gowns are crafted in what looks like bin-liners or broken records but are in fact highly expensive paper nylon and lacquered silk respectively. Hats echo the ordurous theme – washing machine hoses, umbrellas, lampshades and more are transformed into objects of beauty. McQueen’s models stand taller and prouder than ever in hugely elevated footwear. All in all, this is power-dressing at its most elaborate and extreme.