If there is a more haunting experience in fashion than watching Alexander McQueen‘s posthumous Fall/Winter 2010 presentation to a very small group of fashion’s glitterati, I can’t imagine what it would be. Presented in an ornate salon owned by the brand’s parent company, the partial collection of 16 looks was brilliant, as we all knew it would be. It was also, in part, something totally unexpected: angelic.

The collection was inspired by 16th centurty painter Hieronymus Bosch, among other artists, who specialized in religious interpretation and commentary. Some of the patterns actually contained computerized and re-worked prints from the original artwork, including the Bosch masterpiece “The Garden of Earthly Delights.” Outside of the professed inspiration, however, it’s difficult to not ascribe a more personal and tragic meaning to the stylized angel wings that several models sported. Indeed, there were otherworldly aspects to many of the looks – pure white, gilded feathers. Perhaps the most pointed reference was in the show’s final look, a golden jacket that could have been made of wings, fluted at the floor by gobs of beaded white tulle.

But this collection was anything but one-note. Alongside the angelic whites were brocaded and beaded dresses in hues of red and gold, plus digitally printed short dresses, seemingly a continuation of the previous season’s much-lauded Plato’s Atlantis collection. The show displayed only a fraction of what McQueen had probably completed, but even in its abbreviated length, it not only demonstrated the designer’s unmatched technical prowess, creativity, and mastery of the female form, but also rendered in stark relief the stunning loss that the fashion industry and the world at large has suffered in McQueen’s death.

Photos via NYTimes.com.

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  • ShoeQueen1961

    Doesn’t the entire backdrop remind you of Dangerous Liasons w/ Glenn Close and John Malkovich? Very eerie; but extremely sad. R.I.P. Mr. McQueen…

    • Miles Westwood

      Absolutely. Prefer the shorter pieces, but it’s all outstanding. There is no doubt he was a serious talent and the fact that his work is now ‘complete’ is hard to believe.

  • Claire

    Beautiful article Amanda. So sad to see such talent lost so young.

  • Graciella

    Very McQueen…love it all…

  • Ilana

    This collection absolutely gives me chills.

  • Lucia

    Ohhh I have goosebumps! He was an absolute genius! simply amazing!… rest in peace Mcqueen!

  • Reese

    This is by far the best McQueen collection yet. :( I love how its victorian, roman and reminds me of the movie dune all at the same time. It really is one of the greatest loses to fashion since the 80s and 90s.

  • greenpixie

    What a stunning collection! He will be greatly missed…

  • Anna Cooperberg Gzz.

    A fantastical and fantastic collection. Thanks for writing about it so wonderfully, Amanda.

  • Josephine

    may not be wearble but fantastic anyway. love it!

  • BB

    He is one of the most out standing among the designers! R.I.P.

  • bindc

    Amazing

  • Empress

    I wish I had that gorgeous red and gold gown and overcoat to wear as a wedding dress. Absolutely divine. McQueen you are greatly missed….

  • dierregi

    Wow!!! Neautiful, really outstanding… pity it’s the last show :-(

  • Karin bag4bag

    WOW ! Bosch was always a favorite of young artists at art school. His work was very detailed, graphic and somewhat unusual… Not surprised that McQueen found inspiration from his works. Beautiful collection.

  • joce

    wowww….love them all! esp 11, 13 and 16!

  • Gorgeous

    love love love love. tdf! rip mcqueen

  • Kendra

    I would love to wear all of them. (fb)

  • Elyse

    i would love to see how gorgeous all of the clothes are in person (fb)

  • Ana Pinheiro

    Amazing designs, as always!… (fb)

  • Jocelyn

    Fun designs!

    Tag for Linea Pelle (fb)

  • Joy

    love mcqueen and her trademark skulls! (even though not a fan of skull)
    her taste and designs all so unique
    rip
    (fb)

  • Adrienne Zedella

    pick me! (fb)

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