alexander mcqueen

Spectacular Spring 2008 Alexander McQueen 'La Dame Bleue' Look 26 Red Feather Trim Black Suit

This suit is instantly recognizable as an Alexander McQueen piece and it is stunning. The spring 2008 collection was called 'La Dame Bleue' and was a tribute to his mentor and friend Isabella Blow who had committed suicide on May of 2007 after a long bout of illness. His statement of the show was this; 'Isabella flew. The collection is exuberant and excessive. It's about her way of thinking and that way of thinking brought light into fashion. Even when she was down she was up with what she wore. I had the best times with Isabella. I remember going to Mauritius with her and I'd come back from scuba diving and it would be 100 degrees and she'd be standing on the beach head to toxin McQueen with a Philip Treacy Hat on. Or we'd be sitting around the pool and she'd still be head to toe in McQueen with a Philip Treacy hat on. I've though a lot about why she would wear things like that and she wore them because it made her feel like a diva. She was a diva in what she wore. She pulled it off. I never blinked at what she wore. It just seemed normal. So this was a collection about Isabella ad about wearing clothes that transform you." The entire show was a beautiful testament to someone he loved dearly. In Vogue's review of the collection they said; 'All terrible emotions apart, McQueen, like every other designer, can only be judged in the unsparing light of the general arena of fashion. To put it bluntly, this collection—after an off season last time—was going to stand or fall based on whether his clothes were any good....It stood. McQueen mustered the clarity to dispense with smoke and mirrors and show his capabilities in cut, drape, and feathered flourish to an audience near enough to inspect every detail. He stepped up to the plate by running through all his archived knowledge—Savile Row tailoring in Prince of Wales menswear check jackets and strict, strong-shouldered suiting, combined with the legacy of his couture experience in fan-pleated chiffon, goddess-y drape, and hand-crafted drama. The theme of birds—particularly symbolic of Blow—held the show together through a reprise of all the highlights of McQueen's career... In all, McQueen honored his mentor by striving to bring out the best in himself.' This was the fifth last collection of his career and these last collections are considered to be some of his most brilliant. 

The suit is identical to the one that walked the show with the addition of the wide black patent belt. Very few of these would have been produced and it is amazing to have such an wonderful piece of his work in the shop and to have the full suit with both its detachable feather collar and belt. This one has the extra added provenance of having been lent by me and worn by Sofia Carson for the Unicef 75th Anniversary Luncheon. Its twin was also worn by none other then Michelle Obama for her Ebony Magazine cover

A piece like this truly showcases McQueen’s strong tailoring background and master cutting abilities. The suit is made from a light black wool suiting fabric and gives a nod to his heritage and strong tailoring roots. The jacket is also cut with sharply tailored lines and then he has added that spectacular feather collar and brought in the waist with the belt to create a more feminine shape. The belt slips through slits on either side of the back. I love that it still feels very refined despite its avant garde details and cut. The shoulders are squared off and padded to hold their shape. Each sleeve is cut on a slight curve in the proper manner of tailoring a sleeve and ends in 4 buttons at each cuff. The body of the jacket is shaped with a female body in mind and is cut in at the waist for shape. It closes with a single button there. I am obsessed with the collar. The neckline is edged in a black patent that curves around the neck and narrows down to a point where it then meets the button at the waist. The feather collar is detachable and is made by a thick overlapping of red dyed feathers with black painted edges. It buttons into place along the inside of the collar and is set to stand up and frame the neck. This gives it a very unusual detailing and plays into the avian theme the show had. Under the waist the jacket skims over the hips and it is slightly cropped. Slant pockets sit on each hip and they still have their original tacking. At the back it is cut to flare out a touch. The skirt has been kept very simple so that it is the jacket that shines. It is cut with a flat front and is fitted into a short pencil silhouette. You really need to watch the runway clip to see just how stunning it in on and moving. I also photoed it in all its variations so you can see it with and without the belt and feather collar. The workmanship is meticulous and it is an absolutely beautiful and a rare piece of his work. Excellent condition with a minor note below. 

Both piece are fully lined in a black silk. The jacket closes with a single button at the front. The skirt closes with a hidden set zipper. The feather collar buttons into place and the belt closes with hidden snaps. The jacket is tagged a size 40, the skirt a 42 and the belt is a 38. Padding on the shoulders and the pockets on the jacket have their original tacking to close them. It looks like the sides of the skirt were taken in a touch at some point and when it was lent to Sofia it was taken in a little more with a temporary alteration and you can see a bit of the stitch lines on the inner lining. A bit of crinkling on the belt but it is where it sits under the jacket when on so is not seen when worn

Sleeves: 24.5"
Shoulders: 15"
Bust: to 18" flat across from side seam to side seam
Waist: to 14" flat across from side seam to side seam
Hips: to 19" flat across from side seam to side seam
Length: 24" from neck to longest point of hem

Waist: to 13.5" flat across from side seam to side seam
Hips: to 18.5" flat across from side seam to side seam
Length: 21" from waist to hem

Modern Sizing Equivalent: SML-MED

Item# DD3870

Reference Photos/Video: (1-4) Spring 2008 Alexander McQueen Runway Collection, Look 26. Model: Raquel Zimmermann.  /  (5) Sofia Carson at the Unicef 75th Anniversary Luncheon, Dec 2021.  /  (6) Michelle Obama in Alexander McQueen, Ebony, September 2008.  /  (7) From the book “Alexander McQueen” edited by Claire Wilcox.

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