It was a sombre day at Paris Fashion Week yesterday as the final collection ever designed by Alexander McQueen was shown to a select group of press.
Though McQueen's collections were usually 30 or 40 looks strong, yesterday's show included just sixteen pieces. These were the looks that the design team felt McQueen had 80% finished before he tragically died four weeks ago. Each piece had been cut on the stand by Lee himself and his design team completed them in time for yesterday's scheduled show.
There were none of the spectacular theatrics and high technology drama a McQueen show usually entails. Instead the outfits were modelled in a grand Parisian drawing room with a parque floor and gilt-edged mirrors.
It was an elegant setting for the collection that delved into the past for its reference points. The theme of the collection was Byzantine art and McQueen had also looked to early Dutch and Renaissance painters for visual reference. Images of cherubs and the Madonna appeared digitally printed on dresses.
Rich, gold thread came embroidered over scarlet silk and there was an entire coat fashioned out of gold feathers worn over one of several floor-skimming white gowns.
The shapes were typically sculptural with exaggerated shoulders, cinched waists and draped fabric playing up the hourglass silhouette.
The armadillo shoes of last season were gone. In their place glossy leather ankle and over-the-knee boots with gold heels and studded platforms in black or in gold with beaded detail.
The Gucci Group have confirmed that the Alexander McQueen label will continue but it is as yet unclear who will take over the lead creative role. Though Gareth Pugh's name was suggested earlier this week, any association has been denied by both The Gucci Group and Pugh.
By Pat McNulty