Fall 2002 Alexander McQueen 'Supercalifragilistic-Expialidocious' Runway Black Lace & Silk Chiffon Dress
Vogue praised the intricate and meticulous details put into the pieces of this collection. The collection was inspired by a mix of Marie Antoinette, Tim Burton films, Sleepy Hollow in particular, and he even had Burton design the lighting for the show. There was a bit of schoolgirl fetish in the mix and the Supercalifragilistic-Expialidocious title of the show was of course taken from Mary Poppins. I have included a snapshot from one of the Mcqueen books that talks more of the various inspirations that were behind this spectacular collection. On the clothes themselves Vogue noted the 'Milkmaid necklines—far from innocent-were pushed up by leather bodices that curved down into the tightest pencil skirts, and finished off with thigh-high leather boots. McQueen moved from that Helmut Newton-esque fantasy to another—bad schoolgirls, who mixed lingerie and silver lamé ties and skirts in with their proper blazers and duffels. For a splendid finale, he brought out romantic flouncy skirts....' Lee did multiple variations of this look throughout the collection and this neckline in particular was a prominent detail. This dress was a piece made for production for the shops and seems to be a combination of the final look of the show and an earlier ivory version of the dress. I have included both those reference looks here. It is extremely beautiful in person.
'I wanted it to be romantic, beautiful,' McQueen said of this collection and the pieces, the dresses especially, were just that. The dress has a beautifully romantic and slightly subversive scooped neckline. There is an inset of black silk chiffon that is gathered into a raw edged ruffle all the way around the neck line. It dips low in the front and also at the back. A silk satin band acts like a halter corset and is set under the breasts for support. Little capped silk chiffon sleeves are set on each side and their edges have also been left raw and unfinished. Under the bust there are panels of the same silk as the halter detail that wrap around from the back zipper. These curve down and past the waist at the front to add shape through the waist. The dress is made from long vertical seams that run from under the breast to the hem. The dress skims over the hips and then flares out dramatically at the hem. Long triangle shaped panels have been set all around the skirt between the vertical panels to create that wonderful flared fullness. Under that is a second inner layer that's also completely vertically seamed. The inner layer is made from a soft black silk but when it reaches the hem it also has insets of the black lace. These act as support to the top layer and help keep the shape and fullness of the skirt. Under all of that is another layer of silk chiffon with a raw edge hem. The lace has been treated so that it is slightly stiffened and this helps to retain the volume of the dress. Inside the bodice there is a banded corset shaped almost like a bandeau for support and some extra shape. At the back zipper on either side are more of the laced panels to give the illusion that you are completely laced and corseted into the dress. The dress is spectacular and it is immaculate. This is a wonderful example of his work during this time. period. And it's even better on the body. It appears to have been worn very little if at all. Excellent condition
Fully lined in layers of silk as described above. The inner corset closes with lingerie hook and eye and then dress zips to close over that. Tagged a McQueen 42. The dress appears to have been worn very little if at all. I have included the measurements for the outer dress as well as the inner corset. You could extend/add to the inner corset to get more room if needed
Inner corset: 16.5" flat across from side seam to side seam, outer bust to 18" flat across from side seam to side seam
Inner waist: 14" flat across from side seam to side seam, outer bust to 18" flat across from side seam to side seam
Hips: to 18.5" flat across from side seam to side seam
Bodice: 15" from top of shoulder to inner waist
Total length: 40" from top of the shoulder to hem
Modern Sizing Equivalent: SML-MED
Reference Photos/Video: (1-6) Fall 2002 Alexander McQueen Runway. / (7) From the book "Alexander McQueen" Edited by Claire Wilcox. / (8) Alexander McQueen dress on display at the "Lee Alexander McQueen & Ann Ray: Rendez-vouz" exhibit at the Crocker Museum in Sacramento, 2023. (photo courtesy @pmb1976)
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