by Alexander Fury .

Alexander McQueen Press Day

While Alexander McQueen's intimate Paris presentation allowed a closer-than-close look at the clothes on offer (if you exhaled, your breath would billow a yard or so of silk chiffon), you couldn't actually get into the nitty-gritty of manhandling these painstakingly-wrought demi-couture garments with your own not-so-fair hands. That why God invented press days - a chance to view these awe-inspiring pieces up close and personal in the McQueen headquarters over in Clerkenwell. They were no less awe-inspiring a second time around, the garments taking their decorative motifs from Renaissance painting, ecclesiastic spectacle and marble sculpture. The latter was reflected in a trio of dove-grey silken gowns, embellished with silver beadwork, while the former in whirling baroque arabesques and sparkling jewel-encrusted clutchbags crafted to resemble intricate bibles. Carved golden cherubs supported shoes, angels wings formed the closures for bags, and Hieronymus Bosch's garden of earthly delights cavorted across jacquard handbags, evening gowns and wasp-waisted jackets. Exquisite, each and every piece, and, it seems, a lasting legacy to a man who has helped define a generation of fashion talent the world over.