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It’s easy to criticize the fashion industry. Promoting eating disorders aside, the clothes are well beyond the price range of most people and it can be fairly pretentious (read an article in Vogue objectively). A lot of people don’t get just what is so appealing about watching a bunch of women with the curvature of a coat rack strut down a runway in impossibly high heels. To anyone with thoughts along those lines, I offer you this photograph from Alexander McQueen’s Fall 2008 collection.

Now, I love Siri’s Tollerød’s look in general, but as I mentioned in my profile of her several months ago, there is something otherworldly about her and she wouldn’t look out of place in a fairytale. This photo embodies that—it’s ethereal, it’s regal, and it conveys a mood. Which is exactly what a successful fashion show should do.

Ultimately, yes, it is about the clothes, but in the ‘garment-as-art’ movement the end goal shouldn’t be that different from a gallery show of your more traditional artist. Sculptors/painters etc strive to create or inspire some type of emotional response in the viewer, and clothing designers strive to do the same. Fine, we probably won’t see a return to elaborate jeweled headdresses as ready-to-wear anytime soon, but McQueen’s work, and the work of many designers, are undeniably pieces of wearable art.

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