Sample timeline of key Fashion Designers since the 1900s

From the above timeline I have decided to use Alexander McQueen’s work as a source of inspiration for a three outfit collection (this was part of one of the course assignments). McQueen was considered to be one of (if not the) greatest designer at the beginning of the 21st century who loved “handcrafted” fashion, which is something I relate to as well.

McQueen said of himself “Working in the atelier (at Givenchy) was fundamental to my career… Because I was a tailor, I didn’t totally understand softness, or lightness. I learned lightness at Givenchy. I was a tailor at Savile Row. At Givenchy I learned to soften. For me, it was an education.” – Kerry Taylor, 2013, Vintage Fashion & Couture – From Poiret to McQueen, London, Mitchell Beazley, an imprint of Octopus Publishing Group Ltd.

Looking back at his Highland Rape collection in 1995/96 one can definitely see perfection in his outfits, but crudeness overall. We fast forward to 2001 and the “softness” McQueen alludes to is materialised in his Voss collection.

Picture taken from Pinterest:

Long Live McQueen:

McQueen’s shows are known for strong emotions, mainly because contrasting ideas are always present with the same deep intensity, making each of his shows art shows. The designer combines his experience in tailoring and manufacturing with natural elements that are part of his personal interests (like ornithology).

Plumasserie is a technique used in fashion for centuries, but McQueen took it to a completely new level combining it with other elements.  My favourite is the “Dress” made of red and black ostrich feathers and glass medical slides painted red to give an idea of blood underneath. Another example of where natural elements were meticulously tailored is his razor-clam shells stripped and varnished dress also from the Voss collection.

Pictures taken from:


Sources of the photographs in A3 Board:

1.Mariano Fortuny’s picture:

2.Black silk evening coat picture:

3.Coco Chanel’s picture:

4.Coco Chanel’s Evening dress:

5.Coco Chanel’s Evening dress:

6.Sybil Connolly’s picture:

7.Sybil Connolly’s dress:

8.Bill Gibb’s picture:

9.Bill Gibb’s dress:

10.Issey Miyake’s picture:

11.Issey Miyake’s Pleats Please picture:

12.Alexander McQueen’s picture:

Alexander McQueen’s Voss collection picture:, Tamsin Blanchard, 09 October 2014

13.Iris van Herpen’s picture:

14.Iris van Herpen’s Voltage collection picture: Emilie Chalcraft, 22 January 2013

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