alexander mcqueen

Stunning Spring 2003 Alexander McQueen 'Irere' Collection Silk Chiffon Runway Dress

This is a very recognizable Alexander McQueen piece. While there are many of his pieces out there that only die-hard collectors would know at first glance, this is one of the dresses that has that wonderful print that you know is McQueen. The spring 2003 collection was the first collection McQueen showed after joining the Gucci Group. It was hailed as being his most commercial to date. The collection was titled 'Irere', which means transformation in Amazonian. The Met Museum notes that it 'appeared to be poetic renderings of a disaster at sea'. It is sometimes referred to as the Shipwreck collection. In it Lee tells the story of a shipwreck at sea resulting in a landfall in the Amazon. The collection ends with a series of chiffon dresses that were tie-dyed in incredible bright color palettes of blue, red, and yellow. This is the twin of the second dress that walked the runway to start that portion of the show and it is gorgeous.

On the runway this dress was shown with a white belt and to give you an idea of that I have used a white grosgrain ribbon that I will include with the dress. The dress is not 100% perfect but it is extra interesting because it has its silk chiffon panels that are on the dress that walked the runway. These wrap around to the back where they tie. In the video I have included here you can see them as the model walks away from the camera. Every version I have seen for sale out there does not have these extra panels. If this dress was perfect this detail alone would have increased the price by a couple of thousand dollars from what I have put it here for. In some of the photos I draped them over the shoulder so you can see them better. The dress absolutely exudes joyful exuberance and the colours are amazing. This dress sold out world wide when it was produced and there are very few out there. The dress is strapless with a built in inner corset piece that is stiffened with a flattened front panel. It comes in at the waist and then curves out over the top of the hips. This leaves the skirt unlined as the inner structure ends there at the hips. The sheer amount of fabric in the skirt keeps it from being completely transparent. Over this inner structure lies the feather printed silk chiffon which is attached and draped around and over the top of the bodice. In the photos I took without the ribbon at the waist you can see how it has been hand stitched into place to give some shape. The skirt is then inset all the way around in a series of very structured points. The hem is left unfinished so no extra weight is added. When you have this on and walk in it each panel moves independently and swoop and float around you like some fantastical fairy costume. The colours in the dress are spectacular and the print is meant to suggest the bird of paradise. The blue is a rich saturated shade and then the other colours mixed in are stunning. To see it in person and how it moves is literally like looking at a moving three dimensional piece of art. Excellent overall condition with a note below.

The inner dress is shaped and light boning as described above. Over this is a nude silk chiffon that falls to the top of the thighs. The dress closes with a back hidden set zipper. It is tagged a McQueen size 42. The white ribbon is not original to the dress but will be included. I see a tiny bit of stress to the seam along one of the chiffon panels that attache to the bodice and there is wear to the silk on each side of the bodice. It seems stable and held up to a dry cleaning. Please see the photos after the label shot. It looks unworn otherwise. Priced with these in mind. When the panels are wrapped around and tied at the back those areas are completely covered.

Bust: to 18" flat across from side seam to side seam
Waist: 14" flat across from side seam to side seam
Seam at top of hips: to 20" flat across from side seam to side seam
Hips under that seam: open
Inner corset length: the inner corset is 16" from the top of the bodice at the side to the end of the corset at the top of the hips.
Length: 41.5" from the top of the bodice to the hem

Modern Sizing Equivalent: SML-MED

Item# DD3946

Reference Photos/Video: (1-5) Spring 2003 Alexander McQueen Collection, Look 40 modelled by Daniela Lopes.  /  (6) From the book "Alexander McQueen" edited by Claire Wilcox.

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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