Alexander McQueen Autumn/Winter 2021: All that glitters is an anemone
The ancient Greeks believed that the beautiful anemone first flowered from the tears of Aphrodite, mingled with the blood of a wild boar that had gored her lover Adonis. Chez McQueen, images of the bright lobbed and parted flowers were the inspiration for a glamorously gutsy new collection of clothes for the coming fall and winter.
Burton’s iconoclastic idea was to take images of the flowers, photocopy them; before then trashing them and photocopying the results again. Before next engineering the images into the dramatic dresses. All 16 looks captured in a great lookbook series shot by master photographer Paolo Roversi in a Paris studio, which seemed to play on the Victorian view of anemones, as expressions of forsaken love.
Like in her pre-fall collection, Burton’s fabric of choice is 100% recycled and sustainable polyfaille, ideal for sculpting petal-like shapes into her full skirt dresses; princess waists and grown-up sexy gowns.
“It feels like now is a time for healing, for breathing new life, for exploring echoes from the past to enrich our future. More than ever, a sense of humanity, of the team working together with a single aim – to make something beautiful, something meaningful – feels both precious and important. We looked at water, for its healing properties, and at anemones. Anemones are the most ephemeral flowers, here made permanent in cloth,” explained Burton, the house’s long-standing creative director.
Throughout, the scrunched up floral prints managed to be fragile yet powerful, arresting images printed on black polyfaille dresses, sometimes combined with black leather perfectos with a couture like wide-lapel necklines.
The designer also shaped polyfaille into flared frocks; where multiple vertical zips mimic the shape of flowers blossoming. A collection displayed in a private zoom on Tuesday with FashionNetwork.com from the house’s Bond Street store in London, where a sumptuous anemone frock was already on display in the boutique’s window. Though the collection won’t officially start retailing until August.
A selection that included structured tailoring, where slim jackets are nipped in at the back with corset-style ribbons and worn over cigarette pants. One polyfaille flouncing gown in a perfect coral pink was remarkable for its color given that the material was recycled.
Cocoon-shaped flight jackets and bombers, for “everyday couture” worn with bubble skirts with pockets, or aqua-blue sustainable polyfaille cocktails. One great full skirt with giant petal pattern, was laid out on the floor like a massive five-foot diameter flower. All mixed up with jean jackets in dense felt and denim, and cut in couture-like jackets with corset details and military buttons.
For evening, Burton created a series of haunting white T-shirt dresses and cocktails embroidered with metallic silver anemones and lily pads. All anchored by hefty, double-sole pony boots and accessorized with a new Bundle bag with chains, some finished with the metallic silver florals.
Summing up her dream, Burton added: “The women wearing the anemone dresses almost become like flowers, like their embodiment, their character – but amplified, grounded, radiant and strong.”
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