Lady’s coat by Alexander McQueen

Alexander McQueen, lady’s coat, London, England, Pre-Fall 2009. Woolen material, tumbled, roughened, (75% wool, 25% cashmere), patterned silk fabric, silk chiffon.
Courtesy of Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe Hamburg

The severe cut and green felt of this women’s coat are borrowed from English military uniforms. Alongside these elements is a subtle warping of outside and inside: the lining swells out like innards, and the trim, with a Persian-Indian pattern, actually belongs to the inside. Actually.
Alexander McQueen reaches into the colonial treasure chest for his fashion designs. At its apex, the British Empire controlled about a quarter of the Earth’s surface, including the Indian subcontinent. And even though this global empire officially came to an end shortly after the Second World War, its effects had an unofficial afterlife: in the London clubs of the 1980s, for instance. Such clubs were spaces of postcolonial and multicultural rendezvous. This is what McQueen let himself be inspired by.