A design by Alexander McQueen, which appeared in the exhibit of his work and book Savage Beauty, was the starting point for this bodice. I plan to wear this for New Year’s Eve with skinny black satin pants.
The neckline of the original garment was a little severe and I felt it needed modifying to be wearable. I drafted a fitted, corset-like pattern following the photo. The underlayer was constructed from silk moire and topstitched with matching silk thread. This provided the base for the lace overlay.
French chantilly lace was backed with silk tulle and sculpted to the correct shape by using appliqued seams so the lace appears to be one solid piece. A feature of this garment is the way the lace is cut and moved apart, creating an additional style line. I used a lace which was virtually identical on both the right and wrong sides so that the back could be mirror-imaged on the right and left sides. This mirror-imaging was a common element found in many of McQueen’s designs.
The lace edges were hand appliqued to the base garment. Scalloped lace trim was applied to the cap sleeve and lower edges. Next, hundreds of Swarovski crystals were heat set to accent the lace. Additional beading was also used as well as the dangling jet drops from the sleeve caps and hem.
Finally the lining was made from matching lilac fabric and fell stitched into place. The final result is a dramatic, yet wearable garment.
Detail of lace
Original McQueen Design