Alexander McQueen "Noble Farewell"

Quintessentially McQueen, his final, magisterial collection was a poignant coda to a career characterized by ceaseless invention, curiosity, and lightning flashes of absolute brilliance. The collection was presented in a stately room of white and gold Louis XV boiserie, in what was once the hôtel particulier of the noble Clermont-Tonnerre family. The models appeared one by one, to the hauntingly beautiful accompaniment of Henry Purcell's Dido and Aeneas (the music that McQueen had been listening to as he created this collection). Their faces were powdered by Peter Philips as wan as van Eyck Madonnas, their heads were bound by Guido Palau like medieval wimples and crowned with bristling Mohican plumes, and they struck attitudes that recalled the iconic images of the Byzantine empress Theodora. (c) Vogue