alexander mcqueen

Beautiful Spring 2004 Alexander McQueen Cut Device Silk Velvet Dress w Silk Chiffon Balloon Sleeves

This dress is a piece from the Spring 2004 season at McQueen and it is stunning.  In the show that year you can see some of the dress with bead work used a similar pattern to the one you see on this piece. This would have been a dress produced for the shops.The FIDM Museum said of the show; "Deliverance, Alexander McQueen’s Spring/Summer 2004 fashion show was the hit of the season. Based on the 1969 film, "They Shoot Horses, Don’t They?" Deliverance subverted the typical fashion show narrative by reversing the order of presentation; evening gowns kicked off the extravaganza while faux-homespun daywear and a tarnished evening gown concluded the show. This narrative mirrored the film, which documents a Depression-era dance marathon. In order to earn a cash prize the hopeful participants must dance for days with only brief breaks for food and short naps. Lack of sleep and food, paired with non-stop dancing, drives the dancers to the point of emotional and physical collapse and ends in tragedy... 20 trained dancers paired with 20 models, all of whom rehearsed for two weeks. Deliverance began with models and dancers moving about the dance floor with a sense of eagerness and purpose, dressed in delicate gowns. By the end of the show, the dancer/models struggle to stay upright while dressed in patchwork garments representative of their overall decline.The emotional and physical deterioration in Deliverance is typical of McQueen’s work, which frequently explores themes related to violence and decay. Garments, particularly in his early collections, are often intentionally cut and torn and his fashion shows have been called a “theatrical staging of cruelty.”Though it almost seems counterintuitive, McQueen has expressed a strong interest in creating a feminine persona that is intimidating in its visual power."

I love the strong nod to the bias cut pieces of the 1920s and 1930s that the dress has. Once on the body it just glides into place spectacularly. The fabric is sublime and light and easy against the skin. It is a cut silk devore velvet on a black silk chiffon base with a wonderful pattern carved into the velvet that has an Art Deco feel. The chiffon backing has a touch of transparency and then there is a layer of silk under that so the fabrics floats over each other. The upper shoulders and sleeves are a black silk chiffon that have a beautiful texture to it that contrasts against the pattern. The neckline falls into a V at the front and the chiffon is gathered into a little ruffle along the edge anchored by a tiny strip of velvet ribbon. The shoulders are soft and the sleeves are spectacular. They have an inner slim sleeve and then there is a very full balloon sleeve that sits over that inner sleeve. It is so unusual and illustrates his genius. You can see how good they are in the photos and they are even better in person. The dress is cut to simply skim over the bust, waist and hips so is very easy to wear. The lower skirts swoop out with a ton of fabric in them and this falls in soft folds all the way around you. It allows for beautiful movement when you move. It is a stunning McQueen and showcases just what a master cutter he was. Excellent condition. 

The body of the dress is lined in a black silk chiffon and it closes with a back hidden set zipper. Each sleeve has elastic at their ends and there is an inner sleeve as described above. Tagged a vintage MCQueen 

Sleeves: 26" and 16" around the upper arm 
Shoulders: 14.5-15"
Bust: to 17-18" flat across from side seam to side seam
Seam under the bust: to 15" flat across from side seam to side seam
Natural waist: to 14-15" flat across from side seam to side seam
Hips: to 18" flat across from side seam to side seam
Total Length: 60" from top of the shoulder to hem

Modern Sizing Equivalent: SML-MED

Item# DD4587

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Please review all measurements carefully. More often than not, vintage garments do not fit any size category exactly. If in doubt, measure a garment of your own that fits and is a similar cut and compare it's measurements to the listed measurements below.