Ensemble, autumn/winter 2010–11

Alexander McQueen (British, 1969–2010)
Autumn/winter 2010–11
Dress and glove of printed silk satin; underskirt of duck feathers painted gold
Courtesy of Alexander McQueen
Photograph © Sølve Sundsbø / Art + Commerce

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Andrew Bolton: When Alexander McQueen died in February of 2010, he left this collection, called Angels and Demons, unfinished in his studio. Sarah Burton, McQueen’s chief designer for many years, helped to complete it.

Sarah Burton: It was very much inspired by handcraft and the idea that in a way in our culture there’s the loss of the artisan, the loss of people doing things with their hands and making beautiful artisanal clothing or carvings or paintings or sculpture.

And he looked at all the old masters and he looked at sort of medieval arts and religious iconography. It was almost looking at the Dark Ages and finding that there was a light in the Dark Ages.

There was still a modernity in the way that the fabrics were developed. So, for instance, there’s a dress with a Hieronymus Bosch jacquard on it, Heaven and Hell. And what we did is we scanned the painting and digitally wove the jacquard. So in a way you’ve still got this juxtaposition of the old and the new, which I think is always important in his work.

In McQueen’s Words

“I relate more to that cold, austere asceticism of the Flemish masters, and I also love the macabre thing you see in Tudor and Jacobean portraiture.”

Harper’s & Queen, April 2003

“For me, what I do is an artistic expression which is channeled through me. Fashion is just the medium.”

Muse, December 2008