Alexander McQueen S/S 2005 “It’s Only A Game”
The Spring/Summer 2005 runway show for Alexander McQueen took inspiration from a number of places; Edwardian lace detailing, Japanese kimonos, American football, and Latin America, for example. The most surprising, however, was Lee’s decision to turn the show into a live chess match, inspired by the human chess played in the first Harry Potter novel, the Philosopher’s Stone.
The first “act” of the show consisted of models in gorgeous and wearable looks, complete with frothy sundresses, detailed blazers cut to perfection, and obi-belted jackets. One by one they lined up on the runway after showcasing their look, seemingly by color scheme.
The second “act” was focused on the more theatrical clothing- it was truly something to behold. Highlights included the molded leather dresses with skirts of horse hair, elaborate Japanese kimonos and shoes, and beautifully crafted American football uniforms.
As all of the models finished taking their place on the runway, the lights were dimmed, and an automated voice began commanding certain models into positions on the now visible chessboard. They quite literally played a game of chess, culminating with the two queens, played by Gemma Ward and Hana Soukupova, circling each other.
The critics’ response was that this show was entirely McQueen, and some of his best work. In Lee’s own words:
“[In this collection] the idea of the chess game meant that we looked at six different types of women, women on opposing sides. We had the Americans facing the Japanese and the redheads facing the tanned Latinos.” - Another Magazine, SS05
OUTROSPECTION; THE BODY AND MIND
Do What U Want - Lady GaGa (feat. R. Kelly)
A ballerina, whose pointe shoes are extended by a set of sharp kitchen knives, dances and twirls insistently until reaching exhaustion, fighting to maintain balance on the lid of a grand piano set on a stage. The theatre with its red velvet warm lighting, resembles an oversized music box. The camera turns around the dancer revealing the opposite side of the room: an empty and painfully bare theatre.
The ballerina appears as an eerie figure expressing effort, sacrifice and pain in her strive for perfection. Both fragile and cruel. Initially shy and hesitant, her steps become more and more emphatic, menacing and not exempt of violence, scraping and cutting into the delicate surface of the piano with her sharp pointe shoes.
Through this work, Javier Perez investigates and reflects once again upon the human condition. Using a strongly metaphorical language rich in powerful symbolism, he reveals the weaknesses that become the boundaries between seemingly irreconcilable concepts such as: beauty and cruelty, fragility and violence, culture and nature or life and death.
watch the video: