We may live in uncertain economic times but thankfully, we live in very creative ones as well. As an increasing number of fashion houses explore alternatives to runway shows either out of environmental consciousness or fiscal prudence, we're witnessing a burst of creativity as new presentation formats are explored. While it's unclear exactly why Alexander McQueen opted for a multi-media presentation over a live runway show, his Men's Spring/Summer 2010 collection arrived at my doorstep last week via CD accompanied by a letter from the designer himself and a short DVD entitled "Analyse That!"
"Analyse That!", a short film written by McQueen and directed by David Sims, is dark, full of angst and hints at McQueen's persona as a tortured artist. There is an obvious connection between the tortured soul featured on screen and the collection which features soft, relaxed silhouettes in a variety of paint-splattered fabrics that call to mind Jackson Pollack madly dripping paint on a canvas at his Long Island studio in the mid-1950's. This theme is reinforced by the accessories which include round-toed worker style shoes and boots with paint strokes around the sole. In other words, a well-coordinated, cohesive presentation.
McQueen is clearly unafraid to explore technology as a means of connecting to customers. As you may recall, he teamed up with online fashion emporium Net-A-Porter in September 2008 to offer pre-registered customers an exclusive opportunity to view a private runway show and purchase eight looks from the Pre-Spring 2009 (i.e. resort) collection a full two months before the items became available anywhere else. In this instance however, it is a brief glimpse into McQueen's creative process that is on display rather than the garments themselves.
Whether or not the film is a true reflection of McQueen's creative angst is anybody's guess but it remains nonetheless a clever way to draw your attention to the clothing which is, when everything is said and done, the point of the exercise. While it may not replace the drama of a live presentation or a trip to the showroom to finger the clothing and eye the details, as fashion media outlets and an increasing number of retailers on both sides of the pond shave their travel budgets and their staff, it makes a tremendous amount of sense to present a collection in this way. It will be interesting to see whether McQueen pursues this mode of presentation and just how far he is willing to take it. You can view "Analyse That!" as well as the full Spring/Summer collection at the Alexander McQueen website.
The Luxe Chronicles