Snob Essentials

Alexander McQueen Spring/Summer 2012 Collection: Inside the Palace of Splendor

The day after its Paris runway show, I was invited to the Alexander McQueen showroom for a re-see. It proved to be one of the most thrilling highlights of my Fashion Week in the City of Lights. When I arrived, Sarah Burton was filming an interview with The New York Times, so we were asked to be very quiet as not to disturb them. Admiring the creations with hushed tones made it feel like a true museum experience. Up-close and in-person, the collection was beyond breathtaking, revealing details you could not tell from the show or from images. But, of course, I ran for the bags first. The McQueen team has produced an impressive spring line that will not only delight already-obsessed snobs, it will have no problem securing a new legion of bag-loving fans.

Designed to exude “earthy lightness,” the Folk tote has been popular since it’s debut. Now it makes the most practical black lace bag ever! A dramatic Spring 2012 makeover does the stuff of folklore right. Laser-cut patent leather lace over nude leather gives a nod to the gorgeous black lace gowns seen on the runway, emphasized by flashes of skin peeping through. This tote is delicate in appearance, but in reality, a sturdy yet lightweight tote that will hold a laptop, spare pair of flats, and anything else I need to get through my days. Transfixing the eye and working with the wardrobe, it has the bases covered.

This artful shoulder bag heralds a new shape for the line, and fluid, winding hardware brings jewelry to mind – and brings the McQueen theatrics we’ve come to anticipate. This flap-front convertible clutch has delicate white pleating not unlike those hand-pleated pieces we eyed on the runway. I love the way the bags were interpreted with the beautiful clothes in mind!

We are spotting new silhouettes, but you know it wouldn’t be a complete collection without renditions of the iconic skull clutch. Come spring, expect to see it in fresh, diverse materials and textures. Like something from a mermaid’s lair, this pearl and coral-encrusted variation is beyond! And I admit, I am dying to wear this serpentine harness.

If you can only invest in one tote next year, make it a Folk tote. Feeling more low-key than lacey leather? Here’s a more subdued version in the perfect shade of taupe. Not only will this color go with everything (think about it: neons, primarys, and neutrals of all breeds), it will transition seamlessly through all four seasons.

The classic clutch has been giving the McQueen treatment. This brand-new style doesn’t boast the skull like a proud jewel, but hides the skull clasps inside the clutch, leaving the emphasis on the metallic skin – for the understatedly glamorous bag snob.

Ah, it’s here! Finally, a strap option for the endlessly invigorating skull clutches! Not only is this convenient, it’s a current move, as evening bags with long straps are the thing to wear with your gowns. This one even mimics some of them – it’s corseted just like some of the dresses.

Speaking of current, here you have it: the skull clutch in shagreen. In keeping with the deep-sea theme, this one shimmers like an oceanic pearl. And no, the skull clutch isn’t going anywhere anytime soon! We are a cult, us McQueen clutch-lovers. When we see each other out with them, noticing that little saucer-eyed skull is like discerning a badge of coolness.

Finally, the wild card: McQueen has cast their net and I’m taking a bite! This is an intriguing way to re-work a classic bucket tote. It’s also almost like two buckets in one – woven mesh covers nude leather on one side, while the back is pure, solid leather. Not only do you have interest, you have options.



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