Monday, February 15, 2010

Antediluvian Dreams and the Collective Unconscious: An essay on the late, great Alexander McQueen

I have a confession to make: I am passionate about fashion design's occasional ability to tap into the zeitgeist. Not every designer can do this-- it is relegated to only a rare few at any given point and time in my humble opinion. True, it seems strange that a practicing psychic such as myself would be so focused on an industry so seemingly absorbed on the "surface" "frivolous" and "irreverent" as fashion, and indeed, it can be that to a large extent. But when fabric is molded and shaped in the hands of someone such as Alexander McQueen, all bets are off. Indeed, truly great designers give birth to realities by a combination of fixation, symbolic transference, and forecasting, not entirely unlike what good psychics do.

The genius of Mr. McQueen's approach that was so different than his peers was that he frequently mined the subterranean depths of his own dreams and nightmares and came out with something that Jungian psychoanalysts could only refer to as a byproduct of the "anima"-- that of the feminine unconscious of the male, the shadow self, the primitive feminine, the Hindu goddess Kali the Destroyer compassionately rebuilding the lover she has thoughtlessly trampled in her blind dance of ecstasy, the witch, the Cassandra, the reptilian part of our gene code, the canary in a coal mine laying in wait in all of us, waiting to reveal the message.

Forecasting indeed.

Many of his designs and fashion shows featured a curious combination of vestigial tails, strange bumps and lumps on clothing that gave the effect of genetic mutations growing on the person wearing the outfit, fins on heads, and a primordial stew revivified in a swirling kaleidoscope of a very future-long-past gene pool of which McQueen was taking a snapshot just before waking. There was also a "cyborg" undercurrent mingling with this liminal state that always seemed to encapsulate the pervasive, almost symbiotic role technology has become in the lives of many in the industrialized world.

It was with great interest that his second to last collection of clothing came to my attention, but through most unfortunate means: on February 11th, 2010, Alexander, or "Lee" as he was known to friends and family, distraught over the recent death of his mother not a week prior, took his own life. The shock of his passing was only barely surpassed by my shock in finding how accurate he had been in unearthing a memory of our galactic history.

The Spring 2010 collection:

Many fashion editors and fans refer to the shoes as "alien", and upon further viewing of the appearances of the models, many associations were made with depictions of the facial structures and builds not unlike tall blonde human extraterrestrials/"middle earth inhabitants" whom abductees and experiencers see and occasionally "speak" with telepathically. There is a referencing to technology in all of this as well, but of one ancient and lost; seemingly inseparable from the fantastic and physical. Holographic and pixelated fabrics mingle with the morphing of the reptilian/amphibious/hybrid human theme.

Life will find a way to reinvent itself to somehow evolve and then crash from its own arrogance, the designer seems to be saying. Just like ancient Atlantis.

Indeed, he was influenced by Plato's depiction of the lost civilization; if only from the Wikipedia version. Nonetheless he ran with it and succeeded wildly:

"... while the silhouettes and accessories presented were futuristic (ask yourself: what in fashion history can you really compare them with?), they were also strangely familiar, but in a time-dilated a long-buried memory of a future life.

Plato's Atlantis was initially inspired by the Wikipedia version of the philosopher's vision of the lost continent, a former naval power which "sank into the ocean 'in a single day and night of misfortune'" and receded into the mists of time, only to end up "a byword for any and all supposed advanced prehistoric lost civilizations." But whether it actually existed wasn't the point for the designer. "Atlantis is like, to me, a metaphor for Neverland. It can be anywhere in your mind, anywhere where people find sanctuary in bad times."

The article goes on to add:

"According to Plato, the residents of Atlantis began valuing money over spirituality, and became "faint and weak." Though blessed, they "were filled with lawless ambition and power." Are we any different?"

It is a sad farewell to a man who was just beginning to grasp that which is potentially a breakthrough in how we evaluate and look at, well, the superficial. He will be greatly missed.


"What Alexander McQueen Knew (aka Why You're Beyond Bored with New York Fashion Week)", Lesley Scott auth.,

Images: Alexander McQueen Spring 2010 via

About the author:

Anya Briggs is a practicing Psychic, Medium, and Channel.
She also really, really likes fashion, interior design, and afternoon tea.
She can be contacted for readings at:
For all other inquiries email her at:


Mike Clelland! said...

This article made me ponder the curious women who are wearing those clothes.

There are two writers that resonate deeply with me: Mac Tonnies & and Christopher Knowles. They have both written in their separate blogs about how weird certain super-models can look. They understandably ponder if they might (in fact) be alien hybrids. Or, as Budd Hopkins would correct me transgenic beings.

Christopher's vote:

Mac's vote:

Also - Hooray for Anya's first WOE post!

Anya said...

Thanks, much appreciated! Dang, I wish I had had a chance to know Mac. *Sigh*

Regan Lee said...

Wow, Anya, that's a great first article! Well written, and certainly esoteric. Love it. Thank you!

Anya said...

Thank you, Regan, I certainly do appreciate it. Glad you enjoyed it!

kaney said...

When you go upstairs in dreams, you go to the conscious level. Since you go up very slowly, this means that you are having the right attitude because you are carefully bringing the bad characteristics of your anti-conscience (which is always in the bottom of your psyche) up to the conscious level. This means that you are carefully examining the negative content you have inherited into your wild conscience.

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