McQueen of the Masses?

Have you noticed that since Alexander McQueen’s passing, there have been a lot of the brand’s dresses on a lot of red carpets?

When it’s someone like Cate, I know it’s an homage to a dear friend and in my view, Cate is on a tapis rouge of her own. She and Tilda have always embraced the non-mainstream – they are the acting guardians of the avant-garde, if you will. And we know that Lee had many famous friends who wore his creations so eloquently.

But lately, there has been a McQueen following en masse, amongst the famous and not-yet-infamous at openings and launches and during awards season. I have seen many skull-clasped clutches at premieres and parties on both sides of the Atlantic, and there are reality and one-hit-wonder pop ‘stars’ in coveted couture-esque dream-worthy dresses.

I didn’t think that a brand like Alexander McQueen would ever play into the celebrity PR game. It’s not something I equate with the brand’s value or positioning (sometimes the ‘marketer by day’ in me takes over) and those seem to be the only social media updates I get from the company – who wore what to where.

It’s certainly not something I equate with the man behind the original label. Lee’s tweets about his ideas for collections send shivers down my spine still (and yes, I remember them well). His interviews were always about the ideas behind the clothes. There were layers of thought amongst those yards of fabric and miles of thread.

Please forgive, but for me, it’s not a brand that everyone can or should be able to pull off. It’s McQueen. It’s surreality – not reality TV.

One of Lee's surreal sartorial moments, from his final collection. Not for the faint of heart - or art.

I know that brands evolve and we are in a market where mass is more and luxury labels have to compete for attention or you know, not grow 4000% that quarter. Fashion heaven forbid.

But how does it remain special if it’s everywhere, all the time?

There’s no luxury in that, my dears.

And there’s certainly no Lee.

Image: WWD.

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