Fall 2008 Alexander McQueen 'The Girl Who Lived in the Trees' Silk Chiffon Dress
The fall 2008 collection was called 'The Girl Who Lived in a Tree'. The 2008 collection was inspired by a combination of McQueen's trip to India and a 600 year old elm in his garden. I have included two photos from the runway that year and you can see how the elements from these pieces were combined to create this gown which was a part of the production run sent to stores that season. We also found a photos of a very pregnant Ashley Simpson who wore thew twin of this dress ot the 2008 VMA's that year. Pieces from this collection are some of the most valued by collectors. The V&A Museum says of this collection: 'McQueen’s Autumn/Winter 2008 collection centered on a fairy tale narrative devised by McQueen about a girl who descends from a tree to marry a prince and then become a queen. It was inspired by a 600-year-old elm tree in the garden of the designer’s Sussex home. At the center of the set stood a giant tree swathed in fabric, inspired by Bulgarian artist Christo, who is renowned for wrapping buildings with material.' This dress feels a bit like the embodiment of that center piece they refer to, as you are wrapped an swathed in fabric once it is on.
The dress is astounding and the work of a master tailor. Rarely does one see this level of workmanship in ready to wear. The fabric is a beautiful silk chiffon with a soft almost waffle finish worked into it. This gives it an incredible amount of texture while the silk used is feather light. The dress once in feels like it is floating around you, like wearing air. The cut is pure McQueen with a low, almost scandalous, dipped neckline with just the suggestion of a seam that is created through a line of hand placed stitches on the exterior that run just under the bust. This gives that dress its empire feel. The texture and design that is worked into the silk make the dress feel like it has been gathered into little pleats over the bust and the final effect is beautiful. Inside, the bust is more structured and supported and it is incredible that the support comes mainly by seaming and fabric rather then extensive boning. The skirt falls to the floor from beneath the empire cut of the bodice and there are yards and yards of silk used to create the skirt. Once side is caught up and drapes and is attached to the top of the shoulder creating that stunning looped effect that you see in the photos. The back trails out behind you in a long train. It is important to note that the train on one has never been altered or shortened. I have seen others of these come to market and the trains have often been changed but this one is entirely original. It is a work of art from one of the great designers of our time. The dress has its original hang tags in place. Excellent condition.
Fully lined in black silk sating through the bust and black silk chiffon through the skirt. It closes with a hidden set zipper at the back. The interior bust is shaped and lightly boned at the sides. Original tags attached. Tagged a McQueen 38 and appears unworn.
Bust: to 17" flat across from side seam to side seam
Seam under bust: 14" flat across from side seam to side seam
Natural waist: open
Bodice: 10.25" from shoulder to seam under bust
Length: approx 60" from shoulder to front hem and the back trains adds another approx 30"
Modern Sizing Equivalent: XS-SML, will fit a small busted MED
Reference Photos: (1-2) F/W 2008 Alexander McQueen Runway Collection (Look 7 & Look 27). / (3) Ashlee Simpson at the 2008 VMA's.
This garment has been professionally cleaned, pressed and is odor free. Thoroughly checked over before shipping, it will be ready to wear upon arrival.
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