Saturday, March 17, 2012


By Lynda Castonguay

Paris is the lucky one:
Alexander McQueen Fall/Winter 2012 

Alexander McQueen Fall/Winter 2012 (Photo by Monica Feudi/

Legal profession by day, fashion designer by dream. Copy editor and proof reader by first introduction, creative fashion writer through aspiration.

First introduced to Fashion Studio's community as the site's copy editor and proof reader, I am now introducing myself as one of its writers. When Eva, the back bone of this website, asked me what topic was going to be my first, I was stumped. With fashion weeks taking place all over the world, with hundreds of runway collections to peruse, analyze, and criticize, surely I could find something that had enough pizazz to make it my first. Yet, somehow, I still found myself at a loss on what could be my introductory piece.

That was until I caught a quick glimpse of a light pink perfection on Vogue's facebook page – an Alexander McQueen dress from the label's Fall/Winter 2012 collection {see below}. The grandeur of the dress, even just in print (one can only imagine the stolen breaths when it was seen live) drew me in and without hesitation, I imprinted on this dress and its accompanying collection as the first topic I was going to cover for Fashion Studio.

Alexander McQueen Fall/Winter 2012 (Photo by Monica Feudi/

While people from around the world eagerly wait for the seasonal Alexander McQueen show, it is the Parisians that get to indulge their six senses in its divinity. During Paris Fashion Week, Alexander McQueen delivered a collection that can only be described as gluttonous - the fashion equivalent to a thanksgiving dinner. Instead of a waistband-popping meal, it is an eye-popping collection; and jaw dropping for that matter.

Where there was an excess in the silhouette and fabric, there was richness in its fantasy and splendour. And where there was simplicity in style, there was richness in embroidery. Soft, cascading and all encompassing layers of white, pale pink and poignant red tulle, organza and feathers were perfectly in line with what Sarah Burton meant to explore with this fall collection - “a beautiful future [...] A kind of soft futurism. Not cold and structured, but optimistic and forward-looking.”

Detailed floral arrangements laying comfortably atop of bodices and hemlines emphasized romanticism – the positive side of it, rather than the darker side Alexander explored. There was a pale cabbage purple dress seemingly exploding over top of the model that co-mingled with sensuous soft white dresses, terribly regal and fit for an arctic escapade. While strapless dresses are atypical for fall-winter temperatures, the heavier fabrics, and their over abundance in some looks, made the collection so that it effortlessly works.

In fashion, with all its various types, there are two major categories of designers: those from whom we expect to see commercial success in their runway presentations, and those from whom we simply expect to be swept away by fantasy. Michael Kors, Jason Wu, Rachel Roy and Diane Von Furstenberg situate themselves in the former whereas types like Hussein Chalayan (not in every collection) and Alexander McQueen comprise the latter – fashion extremists to some extent, turning intricate dreams into intricate realities.

Alexander McQueen Fall/Winter 2012 (Photo by Monica Feudi/

Alexander McQueen was in a league of his own. He stood singularly on a platform unattainable by most as no one person could do it quite like him – much of the reason why he is so greatly missed. With his imagination, he single handedly created one of if not the most anticipated shows of every season. His talent was a blessing to all. But as we found out, it was also a curse for the people left behind when he forged onto the next life. Left stunned at the end of every presentation, somehow someone other than Alexander had to hold the reins of this fashion label and continue to leave us with those same reactions. How were they going to phase in someone after this visionary? Who has not only the ability but also the confidence to step into this role? It was the time for guts and guile and the person who had both was Sarah Burton.

With baited breath, the first collection without Alexander came, was shown, and was widely acclaimed. Without words, just art, Sarah Burton gave her eulogy to her long time friend and our long time fascination. Seasons passed and Sarah Burton solidified herself as the perfect choice to parallel Alexander's legacy – but on a slightly more upbeat track. Her take on things came with a little bit more sunshine than what came from Alexander, and these rays of hope eased the fashion world in such a way that it turned us into hopefuls: hopefuls of the labels future, that Alexander's memory would remain, and that a McQueen would always noticeably be a McQueen.

Sarah Burton has deservingly earned her place in the Alexander McQueen fashion house, not as a replacement, nor as second to him, but in a spot beside the legend, one equal to him.

By Lynda Castonguay

Alexander McQueen Fall/Winter 2012 (Photo by Monica Feudi/

View the entire collection at:

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