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AlexanderMcQueen 2002 "Supercalifragilistic" Wool SilkChiffon Black Evening Gown

About the Item

The late British Alexander McQueen designed this curvaceous uniquely-draped and hand-finished black evening-gown dress for his Autumn/Winter 2002-2003 collection "Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious", which set a ready-to-wear $37,500 auction record in 2020 for its complimentary black billowing silk coat, while a 1stDibs listing similar to ours for a raw-edge-cut silk chiffon red midi dress for Spring/Summer 2003 in good condition sold for $10,144. Made in Italy, our intricate ruched semi-transparent silk chiffon and sleek lined wool hourglass midi dress in very good condition is tagged size 38, which suits a French 38/US 4-6. Like the 2020-auctioned coat from Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious, the gown is also among the few that encapsulate this collection according to Alexander McQueen, who was quoted by magazine Numero: "This collection was inspired by Tim Burton. It started out dark and then got more romantic as it went along." This is why The Met Costume Institute showcased a runway ensemble including the aforementioned coat in its museum retrospective, "Savage Beauty", a year after the designer died (1969-2010), when he was acknowledged as the most imaginative and provocative fashion designer of his generation. The mostly wool draped, gathered, swagged and flounced gown is topped by a mock underlay of silk chiffon, which is ruched from the semi-transparent bust around the low wide neckline into cap sleeves that may be slipped off the shoulder. Giving a medieval-French-milkmaid style a provocative rock-n-roll edge, the hems of the delicate sheer neckline and tiny sleeves are finely distressed like a punk version of eyelash lace. Tailored to McQueen's high Saville-Row standards as a masterful manipulator of wool fabric, the ultra-feminine gown is distinctly contemporary with its sleek deep draping from curvilinear seams flowing from a high-waisted tight bodice, which makes the hips appear voluminous. Uniquely, a swag forms at the front lower legs with the majority of wool fabric gathered at the back center. This creates a rear raised hem that McQueen has constructed into a double triangular flounce to enable multi-directional movement of it while walking. This prevents any restriction at the hips, so the wearer only needs a trim waist to look their best. In the back center, there is invisible zip closure and hook-and-eye fastening. To appear more like long gowns, McQueen visually "extended" the length of his black midi dresses on the runway with black knee-high boots. A similar gown was the Parisian fashion-show finale, while the stage makeup on the model's face was fashioned into a black-and-white eye mask recalling the American rock band Kiss. Vogue magazine wrote about the Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious debut: "Best of all, he's softened his sometimes severe hand so that the idea of wearing these pieces seems not just possible, but quite appealing." Notably regarding provenance, the sole owner purchased it when McQueen opened his namesake New York boutique in Manhattan's Meatpacking District in Summer 2002.
  • Designer:
  • Brand:
  • Dimensions:
    Marked Size: FR 38 (EU)
  • Style:
    romantic rock-n-roll (In the Style Of)
  • Place of Origin:
  • Period:
  • Material Notes:
    The wool fabric of the sleeveless gown is seamed, draped, gathered, swagged and flounced, while the silk chiffon is ruched and hand-cut as a faux underlay including the bust, neckline and cap sleeves.
  • Condition:
    Wear consistent with age and use.
  • Seller Location:
    Chicago, IL
  • Reference Number:
    1stDibs: LU3244218109252

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