Thursday, 25 March 2010

McQueen-like keen

A thought crossed my mind today as I noticed an exchange between two girls I know on my Facebook news feed.

They were showing each other links to Alexander McQueen pieces on NAP. One of the items was a £90 pair of leggings. Now, that's probably the very cheapest full-priced item of McQueen available out there, so one of them began to seriously consider buying them. Comparatively cheap, yes. Cool, yes. But still, £90 for a pair of jersey leggings with holes in them.

And I started browsing and wondering if maybe I should get a nice skull bracelet or ring. None of them are over £200. Expensive, but perfectly affordable. Now I won't be disingenuous; I do genuinely love McQueen designs and I always have lusted over its macabre glamour. However, I am still left wondering how much this McQueen buying frenzy is because people want what they're buying, or if it's to do with McQueen's death?

I understand the feeling that this is our last chance, that these pieces are even investments. But these are not pieces of couture from the last collection I am talking about. These are simple factory made basics which could easily be churned out for years longer.

All this reminds me of the importance of a name behind any object. There is a skull bracelet I love, but when looked at from afar it just looks like another emo wristband and I cannot deny that part of the bracelet's allure is the beautifully stamped font on the bracelet's inside.

It's the same with an interlocking C Chanel bag, earrings, necklace, whatever. The interlocking C design in itself is not particularly pretty; in fact, it is kind of tacky. It would be futile to deny that we love it because of the connotations of the brand those Cs indicate: French-ness; chic-ness; wealth; the LBD; haute couture; extravagance.

But that's all a bit of a tangent. What I originally started wondering about was the nature of our current bewitchment. Again, let me state that I genuinely do love and wish I could own this or this. But what about the £150 plain basic t-shirts with a printed skull on the front (no detail; no craftsmanship; just a printed skull). In my opinion, the desire for these is more about the ability to possess something which could become rare, whether we want the item in question or not. Perhaps it is indicative of our material celebrity culture. Or a morbid fascination with death?

At the end of the day, I am not sure myself. I would love to hear your thoughts and opinions.


  1. I am one of the dorks who wouldn't know a McQueen from a Dolce and Gabana. I do feel remiss that I don't know his work. I do imagine that the scarcity of an object( there will be no more of his work) amplifies the perceived value. Also, like you say, I imagine that it makes people feel a part of something in history.
    Let us know if you end up getting something. It doesn't matter the reason, as long as you like it!

  2. I don't think it's any morbid fascination with death, not that anything's wrong with that. It just makes sense to me that a person would want a piece of an artist s/he admires and would rush to get whatever's available when it's a fact that that artist will never produce anything again. if you admired McQueen from afar and thought "Hmmm...someday...." ... that day has to be today. No more where that came from.