The McQueen label never used to advertise as a wish of its late founder and designer Alexander. I remember him saying how money spent on very costly magazine advertising can be better monetised on his garments or on his staff. It’s all very valid and admirable for his devotion to fashion itself. But I’ve got to admit I have always felt the absence of McQueen advertising has prevented fans (not necessarily deep pocket heiresses or princesses) to see the drama of McQueen in an accessible way. After all, some brands do try to translate the language on their catwalks onto photography. (And on a completely irrelevant note, this is the precise reason why I believe fashion videography is not the future, it is a must. So for Nick Knight to have set up Showstudio he is 500 lightyears ahead of his contemporaries and Gareth Pugh and Ruth Hogen are definitely visionaries too.)
So to open the September Issue of Vogue America to have seen a McQueen advert for the first time brings a smile to my face. It just immediately stands out. There’s fairytale, there’s melancholy, there’s life and death. The image is supernatural and ethereal at the same time. It’s unlike the sterile and religious Ads on every other page.
This continuation of the McQueen drama from the catwalk is a step well-taken. Sometimes the stubborness of a designer can be a truly admirable thing that is crucial in keeping the integrity of the house. But at times stubbornness can turn feudal and lead a brand to the cliff — for example in the case of artist Christian Lacroix.
And McQueen should be grinning and nodding behind the clouds now, having seen Sarah Burton not fayring so badly so far. Sent from my BlackBerry® smartphone