McQueen On The Red Carpet: The Ladies Who Dared


A garment by Alexander McQueen is not necessarily a “safe” pick for a celebrity.

His designs are quite often edgy, a little weird, and not soft, sexy or ladylike — in the traditional sense. So the women who have dared to wear McQueen on the red carpet usually have the benefit of standing out. A few examples, in a gallery, below.

Gwyneth Paltrow, at the 2002 Academy Awards. People hated this dress, with its off-colored top and nipple visibility. But sometimes bad publicity is better than good publicity: Pictures of McQueen’s Goth lite gown were everywhere that year.

Cate Blanchett, at the premiere of Babel in Cannes, May 2006. There were a few themes McQueen often returned to: Royalty, Asian, Goth. This modern take on a kimono or yukata is all the more divine because of the train.

Jennifer Connolly, at the premiere of Blood Diamond, December 2006. McQueen loved to play with structure and volume. Some of his most sumptuous designs had full, ballerina-worthy skirts.

Cate again: January 2007, at the Golden Globes. “Black Lace dress” doesn’t sound new or interesting, but McQueen knew how to make it unique.

Lucy Liu at the Late Show With David Letterman, 2008. A vivid hue and interesting drape have strong shoulders as a grounding element.

More draping, with lace and a neon belt. On Thandie Newton, at the Orange British Academy Film Awards in 2008.

Sarah Jessica Parker wore a McQueen dress and shoes — with a Philip Treacy hat — to the London premiere of Sex And The City, May 2008. Some found the get-up ridiculous, but there’s no denying the beauty of that impeccably made little frock.

May 2008: At the opening of the Alexander McQueen store in Los Angeles, Janet Jackson was East-meets-outer space.

Cyndi Lauper rocked the Asian-inspired sleeves to the NewNowNext Awards in May 2008.

June 2008: Salma Hayek was buttoned-up yet sexy in McQueen at the Women In Film Crystal Lucy awards.

Sarah Jessica Parker wore McQueen again for the SATC DVD launch in September 2008.

Pink chose a strapless McQueen number for her album release party in November 2008.

Sparkles and an exaggerated hip might scare some off, but Cate the Great looked comfortable at the December 2008 premiere of The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.

Camilla Belle was one of the many celebs who were enchanted by McQueen’s kaleidoscope prints. This was the premiere of Push, in January 2009.

Confessions Of A Shopaholic author Sophie Kinsella wore McQueen — and carried a McQueen Union Jack clutch — to the premiere of the film based on her book in February 2009.

Victoria Beckham sported the same dress in Milan in March 2009. The stripes make an hour glass shape, an illusion any woman would welcome.

The glittery little dress Kate Bosworth wore to the Vanity Fair Oscar party in February 2009 is basically a portable party. Wherever you go, you’re the most fun person in the room.

Singer Estelle, at a MOMA party in June 2009.

Drew Barrymore picked McQueen to wear to a screening of her directorial debut, Whip It, at the Toronto International Film Festival. The cob-web effect of the black lace over the yellow fabric really makes this one stand out.

Camilla Belle, November 2009: Techno Swan Lake.

Daphne Guinness, November 2009: The Queen Of The Galaxy commands your attention.

Director Rebecca Miller, at a screening of The Private Lives Of Pippa Lee, looks almost like the Red Queen from Alice In Wonderland… On her day off.

Noot Sear wore eye-tricking prints to the premiere of New Moon in November 2009.

Anna Paquin: Another fan.

Kelis wore McQueen’s hoof-like heels to an event in January of this year.

Michelle Obama has worn her McQueen suit several times; most recently she chose it as she began her campaign against childhood obesity. McQueen used exaggerated lapels and a realistic chalk stripe to add whimsy to an otherwise staid ensemble.

As far as I know, this spectacular dress shown in London in September 2000 never made it to a red carpet; I wish it had. I saw this dress in person at an FIT exhibit called Gothic: Dark Glamour and was intrigued to discover that the bodice was made from red microscope slides. Sick, and amazing.

Flight of fancy: Another one I wish I’d seen on a celebrity; from October 2007.

Also from October 2007. This man will be missed.

Getty, except Beckham, which is via Bauer-Griffin.” />

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