For the spring collection, Alexander McQueen goes back to its roots and touches the sky.
An embellished look from the spring/summer ’22 collection walked the runway.
When the news went out that Sarah Burton was taking the Alexander McQueen catwalk back to London for its spring/summer ’22 collection, what does any good fashion follower do? They get on a plane. I did just that. After a whirlwind and unpredictable season, the label did what it is known for: broke with tradition and decamped from Paris and returned to the city that started it all. It wasn’t the streets that inspired the collection, however; it was the skies—specifically, the ever-changing skies of London. The show space brilliantly reinforced that idea, as a clear dome (a reusable structure) sat atop a gritty and industrial car park and the intimate crowd saw firsthand what Burton and her design team were thinking. As if on cue, the clouds were a whirling mix of optimism, forboding and drama.
The show setting featured a reusable dome constructed to overlook the London skyline.
The collection perfectly echoed the changing skies as each look passed. “I’m interested in immersing myself in the environment in which we live and work, in London, and in the elements as we experience them each day. We moved from water—and the mud on the banks of the Thames—to the sky and the ever-changing, all-encompassing magnificence that represents. The artwork for the prints in this collection was shot from the rooftops of the studio where we are lucky enough to have the most incredible views of the city: from St. Paul’s Cathedral to the London Eye. We watched the weather and captured the formation and coloration of clouds from daybreak to nightfall and documented changing patterns, from clear blue skies to more turbulent ones. That led me to storm chasing,” said Sarah Burton in her post-show notes. “I love the idea of the McQueen woman being a storm chaser, of the qualities of storm chasing uniting the passionately individual community of characters wearing the clothes. They inhabit the same universe and the clothes are inspired by and made for them. Storm chasing is not only about the beauty of the views but also a sense of mystery and excitement—about embracing the fact that we can’t ever be sure of what might happen next. To give up control and be directly in touch with the unpredictable is to be part of nature, to see and feel it at its most intense, to be at one with a world that is bigger and more powerful than we are.”
Modern Luxury Fashion Director James Aguiar sat front row.
If the thought of uncertainty is in the air at the McQueen atelier, one thing is clear: The looks that emerged from the collection are here to stay—a heady mix of streetwear, zippers and tulle, grounded with white leather sneakers or a gravity-defying pair of embellished boots. The Soft Curve bag for which the brand is quickly becoming known was spliced and structured not only in black leather, but also in sunshine yellow or, of course, sky blue.