Alexander McQueen autumn/winter 2016 collection catwalk show for LFWLondon Fashion Week AW16
Though Alexander McQueen is often called upon as one of Britian’s most iconic and influential designers, this season marks the first time the house has showcased a collection at London Fashion Week since 2001. This season’s collection housed a whole host of varying inspirations from botanical to oriental infusions to glam rock.
There were dresses very similar to those shown last season, the sweeping chiffons with cold shoulders. The armour-like structure of the bodice from spring/summer, however, was replaced with lace trimmings and printed flowers and butterflies adorning the sheer black fabric. The scantily clad threads almost resembled lingerie, bizarre for a winter collection. Rumours have spread that Burton might be taken on as Raf’s replacement at Dior, which if true might explain the abundance of florals.
Though not the butterflies, or lack of actual fabric. The same dusty pink hue was also recycled from the previous collection, though the hemlines of the tumbling ruffled skirts rose up way past the knee to a much less dramatic effect than the previous version.
Punky influences surfaced in the form of biker jackets and chain-emblazoned blazers, styled with black tulle miniskirts and skirts made entirely of jet-black plush feathers. A full body stocking that revealed both a nipple and the models nether regions pushed the boat out into wacky territory. A golden lamé unicorn covered half of the body. Sheer maxi’s with brightly colours birds and flowers felt very oriental, while the high neck strips covered in beads felt punk.
The most impressive pieces were the Grecian-style cape dresses made of delicate black fabric, sprinkled in pearls and stones that twinkled and dazzled the audience as the models walked by. Overall it was a very well-rounded collection. At the end of the day, though, there was something missing.
The tortured beauty, the raw emotion. With Sarah Burton at the helm, it has been noted that the original McQueen aesthetic has been dulled and brushed over in seasons past to create a more universally pleasing aesthetic, more to Burton’s personal taste. This was certainly the case here, and where it has worked well in past collections this one felt slightly blank. Yes, the clothes were beautiful and elegant, but from a house like McQueen we have grown to expect more.