Runway to Reality: S/S 2008 Alexander McQueen

Photo Credit: Style.com

For Spring/Summer 2008, Alexander McQueen showed a collection that was bold yet polished, offsetting warm rainbow colors against cool neutrals. The looks were quite diverse: some seemed out of place (like a pair of black and pink dresses with fencing masks and shoulderpads), but most were beautiful and on the mark. As always, McQueen remains in my list of favorite designers...

Runway Highlights

The stars of this show, in my opinion, were the dazzling and ethereal "bird of paradise" gowns. The patterns, suggestive of feathers or butterfly wings, were beautifully organic while staying away from too-obvious floral designs. The avian reference was, of course, in honor of the late Isabella Blow, the flamboyant fashionista who discovered McQueen and helped to launch his career.

Also of note were the wearable tailored looks that McQueen does so well. Fitted ensembles in crisp neutrals were highlighted by touches of hot pinks and reds, making them very appropriate for spring. Some of the outfits also showed hints of lace in leggings, socks, or camisoles peeking out for a demure yet elegant look. The fabulous, statement-making headpieces, courtesy of Philip Treacy, were also an homage to Ms. Blow.

Reality Check

Sometimes, I wish I could wear all McQueen, every day, all day. But when that's not an option, consider this:

- Organic patterns don't have to be floral to be stunning!

- Liven up solid gray or black looks with accessories tinged in hot pink or red

- A touch of lace goes a long way to dress up a tailored outfit in a demure and elegant way

- Rock a bold, tropical color palette, especially for eveningwear, but don't overdo it -- keep the shapes simple and favor light, flowing fabrics like chiffon

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