If there were ever a designer that I (and probably all of you) don’t associate with with mixture of pale pink feathers and bright, shiny rhinestones, it’s Alexander McQueen. Well, it’s also Rick Owens, but that’s neither here nor there; will you just look at the Alexander McQueen Knuckle Duster Ostrich Feather Clutch? It’s like something out of a six-year-old girl’s most fervent princess fantasies, and I can’t decide if that means I love it or hate it.

Since taking over for Lee McQueen after his untimely death, Sarah Burton has done a better job than perhaps anyone expected possible not only carrying on his legacy at the brand he started, but also nudging its evolution onto a lighter, maybe even more optimistic path without sacrificing the technical mastery and subversion that were McQueen signature. In light on that, I’m tempted not to take this clutch at face value, even though it’s screaming for us to do exactly that.

Despite its saccharine-sweet feathers and crystals, this design does retail the hardware of the knuckle duster, including two McQueen-signature skulls. Look carefully, though, and you’ll notice an engagement ring-like topper to the clutches ring finger loop, which takes the over-the-top sweetness of the design to the next level. Other than the skulls, which are practically McQueen logos at this point, there’s no note of levity in this clutch to indicate the subversion that I’m trying to find.

It would make a beautiful wedding bag, if nothing else, and there’s something to be said for a designer’s accessories line reaching a bit beyond its brand image to increase its revenue potential. And after all, there were plenty of pink feather son the McQueen Fall 2012 runway, I suppose. They were just used a little more interestingly than they are here. Buy through Neiman Marcus for $2895.

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