Fashion brand review – Alexander McQueen

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I have chosen to write a brief review about Alexander McQueen as a brand by itself.  I found McQueen’s collection inspiring and different in some way.

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Alexander McQueen is a luxury high end brand founded in 1992 by Lee Alexander McQueen.  He is one of the most influential British designer. Briefly about history of this brand.  He was discovered by his talent in the 90’s by the style guru and a fashion director of Tatler – Isabella Blow.  The first collection presented was named as a “Taxi Driver” released in 1993. Alexander McQueen has make a deal with Gucci Group in 2000, which took a controlling stake but allowed him to retain as a creative director. The adorned symbol of this brand is a crystal skull, which I am sure that you all have notice it as a brand’s signature. Menswear collections were introduced in 2004.

Flagships stores were open all around the world, in New York, LA, Milan etc. From 2010 Sarah Burton has become a creative director of Alexander McQueen after a shocking news in February 2010 when Lee Alexander McQueen has committed a suicide in his flat. Even though he might appeal to be a strong person, but in reality he is shy and sensitive man as many of his close colleagues said.  Sarah Burton who have joined the company in 1996 as an intern become hired as a director of womenswer later on in her career. Now with S. Burton in command, the house has taken a softer, more feminine turn. The extravagant touch on the runaways has become more simple. In April 2011 her talent was displayed by Catherine Middleton wedding dress for her marriage to Prince William. It has definitely boost the profit and reputation of a retailer house.

“I am going to take you on journeys you’ve never dreamed were possible.”

Lee Alexander McQueen said once to WWD and this is something I have to agree with. The reason why I adore him is because I cannot believe where is he taking the inspiration from, his collections are season by season different and creative. His collections are known for contrasting elements. Fragility vs. Strengths. Traditions vs. Modernity. Raw energy vs. Romantic. The mood of the brand is full of emotional power and energy. Addition of fantasy and rebellion and those contrast make the runaway, especially haute couture special. In my opinion, the main target market is young working people age between 20-35 who have higher income in order to buy designer clothing. McQ collections include women’s RTW, man’s RTW, accessories, eyewear and fragrance. The USP of McQ collections are juxtaposition between contrasting elements and the influence of the art.

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S/S 2013 RTW

My personal opinion for A. McQ  spring/summer 2012 RTW collection is that even though it is a spring/summer collection, black colour is a dominant in this cat show. McQueen’s strict look is on the runaway together with aggression mask as a lace black hat reminding us of a bee house.  Sarah Burton was inspired by everything about bees, this collection appears a lot of into it. Everything about honey based colour scheme, from yellow, gold, black to a  honeycomb pattern was on a scene together with headpiece inspired by beekeepers hat.  There is a dramatic look at waist of models, show by corsets or wasp-waist jackets and belts.

Unique collections, powerful collections and contrasting elements. Put it together and you have Alexander McQueen. You either love it or hate it. His brand name is so strong among consumers, that we are aware of it. His collections are provoking and waking up our senses.

                                                                   Timeline of Alexander McQueen Fashion Shows 

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Fashion, Trendy Cities

If we say fashion cities, all of us will immediately think about fashion capitals such as New York, London, Milan and Paris. Those 4 metropolitan are known for the hometown of fashion and designers.  Nowadays, many other cities has become so called “trendy cities”. Where new fashion styles and inspiration has been born. Trendy cities includes for examples Tokyo, Shanghai,  Copenhagen, Berlin etc.

For this article, I have chosen one trendy city, which I think that it belongs to one of the influential fashion city in Europe and it is Vienna.  Vienna is a capital city of Austria with population about 1.731 million. It is 9th largest European city. Austria is a German speaking country, because of its history. Borders of Austria included Czech republic, Slovakia and Hungary. Vienna has been always connected as a „City of music“.

This summer I have spent many times in Vienna, because it was convenient, since it is really close to my hometown and I had reasons to go there.  First of all I have spent my time on Art and Photography exhibitions, which are held most of them at Museums Quartier. Compared to Czech republic, Vienna have larger outlets and more brands to choose, therefore I have spent most of the time in Vienna shops rather than in Prague. I have been fascinated by local Austrian people. They’re sense of style and the way of dressing was totally different than I am used to in my country. I have to say that it is a positive pleasure to be out of a country. I am always looking forward for it, because in my opinion Czech people are way too behind from fashion.  To be honest, I have fall in love with Vienna city. I am passionate about photography, art or any kind of modern art exhibitions, and Vienna has bring me a various opportunities and chances to visit and to inspire myself.  The last visit to Vienna was during MQ Vienna Fashion Week in September. I have met various collection of not only Austrian designers, but designers from other European countries as well. This small fashion week has bring along many fashionable and aspiring young talents.  I have enjoyed my stay in this city and I would for sure recommended to others. Walking through city a city center and meeting all kinds of people, knowing that they have different lifestyle and life goals through their ways of clothing. It was just a totally different atmosphere and I have felt much more better in here than back in Czech republic, when I am talking from a fashion point of view.

To conclude, in my opinion Vienna is a great place for a short visit. It is very inspirational city with history. It has its own Fashion Week as well as exhibitions going on regularly. For people who are seeking for an inspiration, Vienna is a best place for looking an inspiration while walking by the river, visiting museums, castles or even during a walk on a street and passing around many shops and interesting people. I think, any town, city at any corner of the world apart from our hometown we will find it inspirational and somehow magnificent.

Personal Fashion Statement

What is fashion and what does it mean to me?

“It’s a new era in fashion – there are no rules. It’s all about the individual and personal style, wearing high-end, low-end, classic labels, and up-and-coming designers all together.”

— Alexander McQueenImage

Nowadays, we are living in a modern time where fashion plays an increasingly important role in individual’s life. Fashion has something to do with constant change during a period of time.

According to a sociocultural level of analysis in Psychology, it is stated that every human being has a need to belong to a group. Therefore the way how we dress up shows that we are being “accepted” to a particular society and groups. The garments what we are wearing helps us to identify with a group with others,  which could be our lifestyle, religion, profession or even our attitude. Today, fashion does not necessarily means that everybody has to follow current trends. It is more about individual’s different way of life, the reflection of every personality behind the clothing. First of all, the quote above said by Alexander McQueen describes exactly my words and opinion about fashion lately. What was fashionable many years ago, people might not seen them as fashionable nowadays. But it is said that fashion cycle is like a recycle. You never know, the trend of 60’s might by hit for a new era of young people. This summer the prevailing colours were neon colours or colour blocking style and next summer might be totally opposite and different composition. That’s why fashion is a constant change.

It is obvious that fashion has been influencing the way we dress up, but apart from that fashion has a huge impact on every aspect in our daily live. Our world is more controlled my modern fashion, even though we might not realized that. Fashion trends and designer’s collection has a hidden message behind that. It can have a touch of political issue or something to do with economic, social changes around us. Fashion is used as a way of communication. The way how we dress up is our lifestyle and it says a lot about us before we speak. That’s why, people dress up in different ways to express themselves. In the past when feminists wave take role, women dress up to be confident and to express their opinions.

To sum up, for me fashion means a lifestyle. It is very personal and a way how we communicate with others without talking, the way we are expressing ourselves.