Important Fall 1999 Alexander McQueen 'The Overlook' Immaculately Tailored Rare Red Fantail Coat
Alexander McQueen shows always verge on avant grade installation and performance art and this one was no exception. Lee himself once said 'I don't want to do a cocktail party, I'd rather people left my shows and vomited. I prefer extreme reactions.' Vogue called this collection poetic despite that fact that it has been inspired by the 'The Shining'. The Fall collection was entitled 'The Overlook', the name of the hotel in the film, and it was held inside a giant lucite box. The show invitation was a single sheet of A4 paper with the words 'All work and no play make Jack a dull boy' repeated over the paper. The show was set in a giant plexiglass cube complete with a birch forest, ice skaters and snow. The models walked through the forest in the falling snow as they made their journey around the box for the audience outside and the final looks were shown complete with a blizzard that was reminiscent of the final scene in the film. In the book 'Alexander McQueen', edited by Claire Wilcox, the summary of this show was that 'The collection marked a high point, not just as fashion as spectacle but also for the visual interpretation of narrative film in another medium'. Further in the notes outlining the show the coats were mentioned specifically 'As usual McQueen intrigued with his tailoring, this time manifested in a frock coat with a fantail silhouette, which attested to his interest in asymmetry and birds'. It is of particular note that the coat and its silhouette was so central to most of the coats shown. We have included shots of Looks 19, 29 and 46 but if you watch the full runway show you can see that variations of it were used throughout the presentation.
This is the same coat that I had in the shop before. My client's life has changed since she purchased it and as a result it found its way back to me. It is a deep red version that is otherwise identical to the coats that walked the show. Very few of these would have been produced and it is amazing to have such an early piece of his work in the shop. For a piece this special I am happy to bring it back again. A piece like this truly showcases McQueens strong tailoring background and master cutting abilities. I love that it is identical to the show pieces in all but the colour. Which is better then the ones shown on the runway in my own opinion. I love the strength of the deep red. The upper portion of the coat is cut with a nod to a traditional men's suit and then he has twisted and shaped the front edges into that asymmetrical shape that you see. I love that it still feels very refined despite its avant grade shape and cut. The shoulders are shaped and lightly padded with a slight soft slope to them. Each sleeve is cut on a slight curve in the proper manner of tailoring a sleeve and each has a row of three buttons to finish them at their ends. The body of the coat is shaped with a female body in mind and is cut in at the waist for shape. It closes with a single button and I am obsessed with that single flap pocket that has been elongated and runs down the hip on an angle that follows the shape on that side of the jacket. The lapels curve around the neckline and run down to the button. They are notched cut and finished in the same fabric as the body of the coat so that your eye is drawn to the angles and shapes below rather then be distracted by a collar in a different tone or fabric. The coat slides over the hip and then flares out dramatically into that fantail cut mentioned in the show notes. I laid the jacket out flat for you to see just how amazing it is cut. When laid out flat you can see how the hem is cut on a long curve that slopes up to one side, swooping up into a boxed cut end. The other end extends out from the waist in a long line to meet the curve. When it is on this falls more behind you and around you at the sides and it has tremendous movement when you walk and move. The inside is lined in a red silk satin that matches the exterior. The workmanship is meticulous and it is an absolutely beautiful and rare piece of his early work. Excellent condition.
Fully lined in an red coloured silk satin. It closes with a single button at the front. Buttons on each cuff. There are two extra buttons sewn onto the inner label. Tagged a size 44. The front pocket is still tacked shut. Padding on the shoulders. It looks to have been worn very little if at all.
Bust: 18" flat across from side seam to side seam
Waist: to 15" flat across from side seam to side seam
Length: 61" from neck to longest point of hem
Modern Sizing Equivalent: SML-MED
Reference Photos/Video: F/W 1999 Alexander McQueen Runway Collection. Look 19 (Model: Sunniva Stordal Bjorklund), Look 29 & Look 46.
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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