Romantic Melancholy: Art inspired by Sarabande

~Alexander McQueen’s Most Romantic Runway show as Artistic Inspiration~
by Miriam Schulman.

Spanish Rose, original watercolor by Schulman

The Alexander McQueen show at the Metropolitan Museum of Art has the flower dress on display which inspired this painting. There are more watercolors in this series where art meets fashion and fashion meets art. Inspired by Alexander McQueen’s dress, Sarabande and re-imagined as a Gustav Klimt stylized painting using swirls, butterflies, and flowers to give visual interest, symbolism and texture.

The dress in the detail picture comes from the McQueen collection called Sarabande. Sarabande is a type of music which was first references in Central America by a popular Spanish dance called a zarabanda. While the dance was banned in Spain in 1583 for its obscenity, Cervantes and other authors of that period reference the dance in their literature. Undoubtedly the silhouette of the dress references the Spanish flamenco costumes and instead of a single rose in the hair or on the collar the entire dress was made of fresh flowers.

McQueen Dress in Runway show
portrait of the socialite Marchesa Luisa Casati by Giovanni Boldini


The sarabande form was revived in the late-nineteenth and early twentieth centuries by classical composers. The fashion runway show was accompanied by a live orchestra playing Handel’s Sarabande. Other romantic influences for this collection were Goya, the Spanish painter, socialite Marchesa Luisa Casati and garden flowers.

Portrait of Emilie Floge by Gustav Klmit

treasury with items inspired by the McQueen’s 2007 Runway Show

0 thoughts on “Romantic Melancholy: Art inspired by Sarabande”

  1. The chandelier was a must include because McQueen had his runway show set designed to evoke a deserted theater. The runway was dominated by a single crystal chandelier. Your chandelier captured the romantic mood perfectly!

  2. Thanks Miriam for choosing my "Muneca Maron" on etsy as a inspiration to yours and McQueen's Sarabande. Truly romantic and feminine. Surprising coincidence, I am a flamenco dancer too.


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I’m Miriam Schulman, your curator of inspiration.

I inspire art-lovers to reconnect with their creativity and profit from their art. Whether you paint simply for the joy of it or you’re serious about selling your work, and you’re ready to stop putting yourself on the back burner...You're in the right place. I've done it and I can inspire YOU how to do it too.

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