Alexander McQueen always has that extra something that makes it seem unattainable. For the Alexander McQueen fall/winter 2017-18 ready-to-wear collection, though, creative director Sarah Burton closed the gap a bit.
A collection that walks at Paris Fashion Week is already a larger than life performance, and with McQueen’s luxury reputation, getting to this level is an admirable effort by Burton. To execute that, Burton took inspiration in Cornwall – specifically the nature and history at the core of the ceremonial U.K. county. Burton’s trip seems to have left her with a clear mind and a vision for a fresh path.
The silhouettes on the runway were youthful and modern while staying true to the McQueen house design sensibilities. There was a plethora of leather and interesting shoelace ribbons detailing to start the collection off hot.
The ribbons were inspired by a Cloutie tree she found during her trip. The tree is meant for visitors to attach ribbons with tags onto the branches, where people can write their wish, or anything really.
One of the first looks to walk was a floor-length black ribbed dress with the ribbons creating their own pattern in red and white. The laces extended to the handbag as well, tossing in blue to let the strands cascade down to the ground. As an overall look, it was edgy and modern; but knowing the meaning added in an extra deep layer that made the dress especially thoughtful and new – and also exceptionally wearable.
The ribbons progressed to being woven directly into fabrics like tweed, creating a new chunky fabric of vibrant colors. Print and color were plentiful beyond these bright ribbons; patchwork was next up on the list for Burton, with two looks that were surprisingly elegant and sophisticated for the less mature print.
From there Burton transitioned her way into a couple of particularly youthful – perhaps even childish – sweater dresses. Their ruffled skirts and cozy knit worked together to create a look reminiscent of a young girl’s dress without coming across as too young for any grown woman.
She also took breaks here and there for structured pantsuits, so as not to abandon tailoring altogether. These were created in all black or all light grey, and were a stark break from the colorful Alexander McQueen fall 2017 collection.
As a whole, the Alexander McQueen fall/winter 2017 collection was a crescendo, escalating from this newfound youth and down-to-earth vibe to the house’s staple extravagant eveningwear. But even the gowns had the air of a similar youthful vibe that reads as new when paired with the rest of the lineup.
As the designer worked her way into the eveningwear section, she brought together some of her best cultural inspirations from the rest of the collection. A floor-length dress in a cultural patchwork was one of the first to transition into it; thin ribbons hung from all points, which created a subtle movement that was particularly graceful on the runway.
The rest of the collection was a beautiful movement from look to look; the most graceful were asymmetrical with flowing hemlines, but lace and other sheer fabrics came in to make for some sexy silhouettes. The latter served to be the final pieces in the Alexander McQueen fall 2017 ready-to-wear collection, creating an impactful finale that could stick with viewers for a long time after the show.
Burton’s new direction for this collection made for a striking break from what we have come to expect from the label, but the lineup would have been sorely lacking if there hadn’t been some of the divine eveningwear that has a special aura about it that can only be from McQueen.
Photos courtesy of Vogue