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Both Beyoncé and Naomi Campbell once wore this African- inspired Gucci dress from the spring/summer 2011 collection.
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This ombré-printed kimono with a corset belt, from Alexander McQueen’s spring/summer 2008 show “La Dame Bleue,” was an homage to his late friend and mentor Isabella Blow.
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McQueen’s Swarovski-crystal dress first appeared in the spring/summer 2009 show “Natural Dis-tinction Un-natural Selection.”
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Hussein Chalayan’s Bubble Dress, designed for the Cyprus-born designer’s spring 2007 show “One Hundred and Eleven,” was made famous by Lady Gaga after she re-created it for her Fame Ball Tour.
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The hand-pierced silver–and–leather Eye Neck Piece by Maiko Takeda is from her 2009–10 collection “Cinematography.” The collar is pierced to allow light to throw a photograph-like projection onto the skin.
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This prismatic, butterfly-shaped dress by Swedish designer Sandra Backlund is from her 2007 collection “Ink Blot Test,” inspired by the Rorschach test. The dress took the top prize at the International Fashion Festival at Hyères, France.
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Charlie Le Mindu’s glossy prosthetic hairpiece, commissioned this year, sparkles with black crystals like a futuristic pompadour. It’s an example of what the experimental wig designer calls “haute coiffure.”
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Crystal Rose is a 4.5-inch-heel cowhide-and-crystal boot by Noritaka Tatehana for Swarovski. The self-taught Tokyo-based designer dyes, sews, and constructs each piece by hand.
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Sydney-born, Paris-based jewelry designer/sculptor Jordan Askill combines 3-D scanning technology and artisanal techniques, history and fairy tales, metals and plastics. Petal Helmet is based on the shape of an actual 14th-century helmet, translated as nylon-and-resin flowers.
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Maison Martin Margiela’s patent-leather Artisanal abstract dress, part of the spring/summer 2011 collection “Défilé,” was described as “men’s wardrobe meets the woman’s body.” Michelle Obama is among the mysterious designer’s fans.
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Hideki Seo’s 2011 dress called Switching on Even Small Lights in Our Too Dark Heart was shown earlier this year at La Gaîté Lyrique in Paris as part of the exhibit “ARRRGH! Monsters in Fashion.”
A look at the the World Chess Hall of Fame’s “A Queen Within” exhibit
Photography by Matthew Stacey / Words by Stefene Russell
When “Savage Beauty,” a retrospective of the late designer Alexander McQueen’s work, appeared at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art in 2011, it drew sellout crowds. Yet few realized the largest private collection of his work resides in St. Louis. It forms the core of “A Queen Within: Adorned Archetypes, Fashion and Chess,” running October 19 through April 18 at the World Chess Hall of Fame (4652 Maryland, 314-367-9243, worldchesshof.org).
Director Susan Barrett says the initial concept of the exhibit was to re-create McQueen’s spring/summer 2005 show “It’s Only a Game,” where models appeared on a chessboard instead of a runway. Then, with help from Sofia Hedman, the Met’s London archivist for “Savage Beauty,” and assistant curator Kelly Peck, the exhibit evolved, with a broader range of designers (from established labels to experimental designers) and a refined concept. The resulting two-floor show explores the archetype of the queen in nine guises: sage, mother, magician, enchantress, explorer, ruler, Mother Earth, heroine, and orphan. The clothing is presented in environments—almost fairy-tale stage sets—that tell the story of each archetype. “Each chess piece is someone,” Barrett says. “It has a personality and a specific role. We’re all of those pieces.”
“A Queen Within” kicks off October 18 with The Queen’s Gala at Saks Fifth Avenue. An exhibit of photographer Anne Deniau’s prints titled “Of the Mind,” featuring images from her book Love Looks Not With the Eyes: Thirteen Years With Lee Alexander McQueen, opens at Philip Slein Gallery on the prior Wednesday. And on October 19, Washington University will host a fashion panel featuring Hedman and Decades boutique co-owner Cameron Silver.
Words by Stefene Russell