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08-05-2011
  31
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Oh, please!

How DARE you say Lee would have refused!

He ACCEPTED a bloody CBE from her Majesty the Queen of England, before.

He said he did it because of his mom but still I know in my heart of hearts he'd jumped at it (otherwise his mum would have given a time out and he just couldnt say no to her).

The dress is McQueen, like it or not, Sarah is part of the McQueen house's DNA and it brought the principle of demi-couture Lee's house possesses.

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14-05-2011
  32
Looking Up
 
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Catherine's dress was ONE of a kind, for a VERY special occasion and will NEVER be seen again. I don't see how this commercializes anything. It made Alexander McQueen more of a household name, but it didn't commercialize it. They're not synonymous.

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17-05-2011
  33
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Forget the Royal dress, the skeleton scarf is the most commercial piece ever.

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21-05-2011
  34
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Do you think no matter what designer Kate chose the dress would have looked relatively the same? Just wondering..

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21-05-2011
  35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LegsXI View Post
Do you think no matter what designer Kate chose the dress would have looked relatively the same? Just wondering..
Yes, 100%. This was their version of Kate's dream dress probably.

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22-05-2011
  36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jessica18Toronto View Post
Forget the Royal dress, the skeleton scarf is the most commercial piece ever.
Without a doubt. That's why i think the idea of this thread is kind of laughable. When you see BB contestants wearing the skeleton scarf, Jade Goody had one, I think it's safe to say you're brand is already "too commercial".

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22-05-2011
  37
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The Skull Scarf has the same fashion/pop culture qualities as the Louis Vuitton Monogrammed crap and anything with the interlinking 'C's of Chanel.

I dont think the word 'Commercial' is being used in the right way here. Armani is a word renowned and household name, but I wouldn't say he was that commercial, he still has an air of sophistication and class about his products.

Every brand has to evolve somehow. McQueen had a chance to be apart of one of the biggest events of the next 50 years....im sure any brand would have jumped at the chance.

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22-05-2011
  38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LegsXI View Post
Do you think no matter what designer Kate chose the dress would have looked relatively the same? Just wondering..
Quote:
Burton also reportedly revealed that the design of the dress was a 50/50 collaboration with Kate Middleton, adding that "it was made for her and has a lot of her personality in it", strengthening the theory that Middleton plundered pictures of Grace Kelly's wedding gown to present to Burton.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandsty...dress-designer

It would have looked more or less like the wedding dress by Burton whatever the designer chosen.

It was a very well done dress without soul.

Imo McQueen didn't got more famous or commercial because of the dress.

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22-05-2011
  39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Les_Sucettes View Post
Without a doubt. That's why i think the idea of this thread is kind of laughable. When you see BB contestants wearing the skeleton scarf, Jade Goody had one, I think it's safe to say you're brand is already "too commercial".
what is BB and who is jade goody pls?...


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22-05-2011
  40
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^ Big Brother (referring to the UK version) Jade was a former contestant who became a minor celeb for all the wrong reasons, as such people do.

Someone asked me recently if I thought that had McQueen himself still been alive, did I think that he would have been asked to design Kate's dress. And I, personally, think that probably he wouldn't.

There wasn't really any of the McQueen aesthetic in the dress, even with it's softer direction under Burton. Although, as others have said, it was a custom wedding dress and it had to please masses. I would have liked to have seen something more "McQueen" and more interesting, but that may not have been suitable for the royal wedding. Has it made the brand more commercial? It may have made it more well known, but there's been a lot of interest in the brand following Lee's death in any case.

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30-06-2011
  41
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Well, it was designed to be a wedding dress not a dress designed to be on runway (could even be, but I'm sure Kate asked for a wedding dress not a catwalk piece).
And Sarah couldn't even get that much out of the box (as Alexander used to) in this case. The dressing code for this kind of event in the British Monarchy is very very strict (for instance, Kate's beauty artist couldn't even choose the colors and shades to her makeup and nails because there were rules for even that). I'm sure that when the Alexander McQueen brand got the request lines for this gown, they asked lots of things not be changed.
Yes, McQueen brand is usually fierce but they did a job that any other brand could have done with Kate's dress. I bet it was such an honour to Sarah design this dress and being commercial or not, fierce or not, it is the name of Alexander McQueen and his brand immortalized in fashion History.
You don't design a wedding dress for a princess-to-be every day.

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01-07-2011
  42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hautechild View Post
^ Big Brother (referring to the UK version) Jade was a former contestant who became a minor celeb for all the wrong reasons, as such people do.

Someone asked me recently if I thought that had McQueen himself still been alive, did I think that he would have been asked to design Kate's dress. And I, personally, think that probably he wouldn't.

There wasn't really any of the McQueen aesthetic in the dress, even with it's softer direction under Burton. Although, as others have said, it was a custom wedding dress and it had to please masses. I would have liked to have seen something more "McQueen" and more interesting, but that may not have been suitable for the royal wedding. Has it made the brand more commercial? It may have made it more well known, but there's been a lot of interest in the brand following Lee's death in any case.
I really don't know if Lee would have refused this and I think it's rather useless to keep talking about that. Coming from the 'too commercial' part: where's the line? When is a house too commercial? I think that, yes, Kate's dress didn't have Lee's undertone, a wee bit of rawness. It would've been too soft for Lee. But the dress was beautiful nonetheless. Sarah does an amazing job I think. And perhaps this has brought the name McQueen more in the limelight than before, everyone knows the Windsors and not everyone got the news about McQueen simply because not everyone knew who he was. But does being more known make the house more commercial or even too commercial? I don't know..

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03-07-2011
  43
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The real problem was that the dress was not particularly beautiful. It was nowhere near Alexander McQueen. Not even close.

So I guess this is just what fashion is about now...get an eccentric to make astonishing clothes, put up with them for a while until they somehow disappear and then fill their shoes with someone mediocre and manageable. Great business concept! I guess at least it's better than the music industry. So whatever. Nevermind.


Last edited by iluvjeisa; 03-07-2011 at 06:43 AM.
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03-07-2011
  44
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I wouldn't say that the Royal Wedding has made the brand commercial at all to be honest. It certainly has increased public knowledge of the McQueen name (or perhaps Burton's), and interest in the house may have grown, but I don't think that it has really had much bearing on the commercial success of the house itself.

Regardless of how much interest and acclaim has been garnered by the designing of this bound-to-be-iconic wedding dress, the fact remains that the fashions of Alexander McQueen far exceed the depths of most people's pockets. Increased public interest will not make the public more wealthy, and as such, it will remain just that: interest.

It seems to me that the people who were able to buy McQueen's wares were in the know long before the wedding occurred. Whether they chose to spend was up to them, and as such, it seems more to be a matter of whether they found what the label was trying to sell appealing.

As has been established already, the dress was not what one would call "vintage McQueen" by any stretch; general opinion seems to be that it was too safe to be placed under that categorization. And yet, this dress is all anyone seems to have been talking about in the months leading up to and after the event in question. Upon it's unveiling, women (and some men) around the world oooh-ed and ahhhh-ed and proclaimed it a masterpiece. Brides-to-be decided that it was perfect and they wanted one just like it. One documentarian quipped that dress makers in Asia would have replicas prepared for shipment before Kate even made it to the altar. The dress was a veritable commercial success. Which is where I take issue with this notion of the house becoming commercialized: how can one proclaim an avant garde fashion house to be "commercial"?

Call me ignorant, but I have generally interpreted the terms "avant garde" and "commercial" as being nigh on direct contrasts of each other. What is "avant garde" is before it's time, and correspondingly confrontational for the general public precisely because it falls out of step with what is popular at the time, what they want, which we would define as "commercial" in that it stands to make money. Products that are "commercial" not only make money, but they are produced with the intent to do so. Seeing as the fashion industry is a business with an intent to make a buck, it's rather difficult to say that anyone involved doesn't harbour commercial motives in just about everything they do within that realm. However, we seem to have decided here that the house of McQueen is one with a reputation for maintaining a strong dedication to the art of fashion, and an avant garde art at that. So the problem arises with this conflict that has occurred between the historical reputation of the house as being of the artistic camp, and the newer collections and Royal Wedding endeavour under Sarah Burton as being of a commercial one.

What surprises me is that nobody has really commented on the elephant tap dancing in the corner, being that Alexander McQueen, the named man himself, is dead. He is gone, and Sarah Burton has inherited control of the house. With the loss of the man who was literally iconic to the brand by lending his name to it, there is a corresponding loss of stability. Burton may have been McQueen's right-hand girl for forever, but she is not Alexander McQueen, as a number of you have pointed out already. What reason is there for anybody to trust her to do what he managed, fielding often extremely provoking collections and ideas each season, throwing all caution to the wind?

One would assume that McQueen chose to keep Burton by his side for so long for a reason. Am I the only one who would deem it appropriate to believe that it could possibly be because she shared a similar knack for confrontational creativity? A meeting of the minds seems a necessity in this case, else she would have been sacked early on. Under this assumption, I would argue that Burton is of a feather with the late McQueen. Barring the wedding dress, she has continued much in the same vein as McQueen finished, and has received much acclaim for doing so.

But that word "same" is suspicious. Fashion changes from season to season, and the label under McQueen was not exempt from this. From fall to spring and back again, he would often explore extremes of expression, and while he maintained certain signatures that were some times subtle and other times obvious, it was rare that you could describe two seasons with that uncomfortable word, "same". But under Burton, we have seen two collections that we might describe as being "similar," and that is a terrifying thought. Perhaps even more frightening is the word "safe," but beyond causing rampant fear and shrieks of dismay in fans of the formerly rebellious house, I think it is the most important word in this discussion.

I would remind you that Alexander McQueen is dead at this point. A volatile man behind a volatile design house, but not just any design house: the one he founded. Lee Alexander McQueen gave his name to his brand, and as such, we are to perceive that it is his vision because it is his brand. We do not see the Gucci Group, or PPR, we see Alexander McQueen. As such, who's place was it to say "Bollocks, this s*** ain't Alexander McQueen, this is just mindless rubbish!" while McQueen himself was still alive? Certainly, we could curse and throw things, and say we didn't like what he was doing, but under no circumstances did anyone have the right to say that McQueen was not promoting his own vision. He was him, not just any designer, but the designer. We didn't get a say. Sarah Burton, however, is not Alexander McQueen. She is Sarah Burton. So we are more than qualified to say she is not promoting another person's vision.

This is where we return to that word "safe". In working side by side with Alexander McQueen, Sarah Burton was relatively safe. Backlash for a collection would be more harshly felt by McQueen himself, but he appeared happy to take it (to a point) and keep Burton with him in spite of it all. It seems inconceivable that McQueen would sack her himself: he trusted her for so long and through so much that her place in his house was nearly permanent. However, in inheriting the Alexander McQueen brand, Sarah Burton was no longer safe. She was not safe. Suddenly, she was the face of a company in who's shadows she had hung for a decade and a half, and she had the misfortune of not having that ever important name, which meant she could be questioned, told she was not carrying on the legacy of the man who's name the brand bore. Certainly, nobody would question La Donatella. Nobody will question Alexander Wang, or Marc Jacobs, or Giorgio Armani for not carrying on the legacy of their brands because they are their brands, mind, body, and soul. But we question Karl Lagerfeld at Chanel. We question Peter Dundas at Pucci. John Galliano was recently run out of Christian Dior because he gave us reason to question his embodiment of another man's brand.

In light of this sudden and previously unexperienced pressure, it seems to me only logical that Sarah Burton would be "safe" with her first few collections for the house as she works to stabilize her own position in the company. I might even say it would be rash to take risks as would be expected of her predecessor so early in her reign. What if her risk proved a folly instead of a fairy tale? Unlike McQueen, there is no name standing between a catastrophe collection and the sack. She has no protection, no tenure. So she plays it safe with collections that are really quite fantastic if truth be told, just not as extreme, not as provocative as we expect from McQueen. In doing so, she gradually builds the trust and belief of the people watching her every move, and as this grows, her position becomes safer.

The opportunity to design the wedding dress for future Queen of England was a get out of jail free card for Sarah Burton. Burberry may very well be the most commercial of Britain's fashion labels, but after John Galliano's fall from grace, it is Alexander McQueen that is left as the pinnacle of British fashion in this period of time. Tying the most prestigious fashion house to the Royals is a match made in heaven, but for no one more than Sarah Burton. Where her name is being sung as well as "the house of McQueen" in praise for the dress, she have given her name weight, and enormous weight at that. In doing so, she has bought herself time at the house of McQueen.

As we have seen, having a good name is not a protector against all questions, but it will save you a few blushes. Karl Lagerfeld has made plenty of mistakes at the head of Chanel, but we will forgive him a certain number because he is Karl Lagerfeld. As a result of Kate Middleton's dress, and a couple season's of "safe" collections, Burton has managed to obtain for herself a similar type of insurance. She is now relatively stable in her position. One might interpret this recovered state of "safety" as being akin to a position where you have nothing you can lose. In my mind, there is no better place than that from which to be dangerous.

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10-07-2011
  45
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I don't know why the Duchess chooses to wear McQueen for the more formal events when the creations are going to be so plain. I'm not expecting her to dress like Bjork but why not support other UK designers for the less casual affairs(though there haven't been too many of them)? I don't mind her wearing McQueen but I don't like how they are becoming synonymous with each other.


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Last edited by before; 10-07-2011 at 06:13 PM.
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