Friday, 7 October 2011

Alexander McQueen Spring Summer 2012 Womenswear

The Alexander McQueen legacy is one that will continue until the end of time, with each Paris Fashion Week that passes by, every front-row-fashionista is on the edge of their seat waiting to see if Sarah Burton is still up to the challenge, yet each season she doesn't disappoint.
Paris Fashion Week was filled with delights this time around, from couture adorned nymphs at Chanel to the fairytale carousel from Louis Vuitton. 'And then there was McQueen.'

Models appeared encompassed in shell like designs, scalloped jackets and mid-length fishtail skirts. Sarah Burton took inspiration from the ocean bed, sea shells, anemones and the crests of a delicate surf. She also found herself guided by Gaia, mother of all humanity in Greek mythology, the pleats and draping came from Madame Grés and Gaudi's architectural influence pushed it's way into the collection, clearly showing his love for nature and the contrast he drew between elaborate and ornate.

The colour palette wasn't so far away from the inspiration in itself, reminiscent of the inside of an oyster shell, with opalescent Mother of Pearl glistening away every colour of the pastel rainbow. Soft pinks, lilacs, gold, cream and silver all gave these dresses a much softer feel, something that, (dare I say) Lee himself often lacked, drawing up beautiful delicacies and them offering some form of destruction or fetish to them. Burton is adept at creating a softer, hyper feminine image, this season heightening the waist of skirts so that jackets drape over with their many ruffles, layer upon layer like a coral reef.

 The type of detail that demonstrates itself in this collection is something that you can't even begin to scratch the surface of unless you see it in person. Each tiny ruffle of fabric that covers the empire lined babydoll dresses has had so much attention and care, that the dresses embody a fragility to them, as if they could only ever be worn by somebody so pure and angelic.

 Now it wouldn't be a McQueen show without a trace of fetish, so inevitably out came the slick black fabrics, in complete contrast to what we first saw. The shapes were the same, though, curved body-tight jackets with equally enclosed skirts with yet more ruffles. A darker array of garments loomed on the runway, with cut out fabrics in harsher colour contrast. The veils that embraced the models braided heads suddenly transformed from embroidery and delicate laces, to black masks, that had a raw sexuality to them, no matter which way you look at it.

As the show drew nearer to a close, expectant spectators anticipated the gowns, Burton's obvious area of expertise. As each intricately cut out dress floated along the runway, it was apparent that this year was no different. A brighter orange coloured gown with cut out detail was a highlight of the show, with it's obvious neon in comparison to the pastels of other. Out followed rose, white and golds all in floor lengths, embellished from head to toe to simulate sea life, with trails of silk and chiffon trailing behind, "like a jellyfish moves in the sea," said Burton.

I can't help myself but every season, it's always about McQueen for me. No matter how cute Meadham Kirchoff, how dreamlike Chanel, there will always be a special place in my heart for Lee McQueen and his legacy. Sarah Burton has taken to her new found fame like a fish to water, and this season she seems to have given some of that back.

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