So I told you that I was going to put more pictures of my adventures at Alexander McQueen… I think now is the perfect time.
Like I said in my earlier post, I didn’t know back then how lucky I was to have had the opportunity to work for him… Especially as this show, the spring summer 2010, was the last he ever did…
Basically, in a perfect world (the same where men propose their seats to the ladies in the tube…) things should go this way: the designer (in this case, Alexander) should start researching his collection six months before the show, so him and his team would have plenty of time to produce it.
Well that’s not really how it works at the casa del McQueen…!
If we are lucky… A. will start researching his inspiration for his next collection six months in advance, but then… probably three months before the show he would change it all. And if we aren’t lucky, he would change it all again 1 month before!
These pictures were taken during the last week before the catwalk in the Parisian studio, it’s the best but also hardest week of our fashion calendar. Seven days before the C-day (catwalk day), the whole London studio (which include: the people, seamstresses, designers, pattern cutters, work placements, the fabrics, inspiration boards, needles, sequins, the computers, printers, the clothes, toiles, prototypes, the shoes, hats, bags…) is shipped to Paris by trucks and Eurostar. Not to forgot the team from the Italian studio shipped directly from Milan.
That week is also the week where all the clothes need to me made or finished… In this case 45 looks. I would say that less than 50% of the clothes needed to be finished, the rest would have to be made there and then!
Days start at 8-9 am and finish at 2 am if we’re lucky (but then again you already understood that lucky doesn’t belong here). The first two days are the more fun as everybody still got energy whereas the last days are spent on auto-pilot. If it wasn’t for the good food everybody would have left the studio or ate the clothes. Compare to the Alexis Mabille studio where no food was supplied for the team whatsoever I think that McQueen did pretty good job as we had a “traiteur” coming twice daily to deliver us the best and healthiest dishes we could hope for…
While we’re working downstairs, castings are happening on the second floor. That’s what we call in-house the “giraffes invasion”. The giraffes invasion equals two or three days where every model comes in to try out the outfits and see if she will be included in the show or not. It can be very emotional… for them, we don’t care, we have other problems on our hand! For example the dress above. Called the Titanic Dress (as it looks like it has spent the last two decades somewhere in the pacific) also seen in Lady Gaga’s video.
The Titanic Dress is, so far, the worst piece of “clothing” to ever work on. For two very simple reason… sharp and rusty. It had been embroidered with thousands of tiny pieces of rusty metal. When you join all the embroidered parts together (sleeves, body…) you are left with gaps along the seam lines which need to be refilled with the metal pieces. Two major problems come with the operation. First, when you are in prolonged contact with rust (breathing or touching), side effects might occur, such as nose bleeds and dizziness. Second, as the metal pieces were really sharp, scratches and cut were mandatory… It should have been called the dress from hell. Instead of the usual”you have to suffer to be beautiful” I’d rather say in this case:
“You have to suffer to make it beautiful”
I have got so many pictures that a part three will be necessary with all the images taken backstage at the show. Stay tuned…