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Published
Dec 16, 2020
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McQueen women's spring/summer 2021: Dickensian drama for Elizabethan damsels

Published
Dec 16, 2020

Even before the lockdown finishes in many countries, fashion is already looking ahead past the dark undergrowth of the pandemic.


 



The latest vision of what’s to come was revealed Tuesday evening by Alexander McQueen, with a triumphant collection for next spring by designer Sarah Burton. An aura of elation even about this collection, with marvelous fan-shaped, Elizabethan silhouettes and eye-catching alliances of unexpected fabrics.
 
“Back to London, coming home. Shape, silhouette and volume, the beauty of the bare bones of clothing stripped back to its essence – a world charged with emotion and human connection,” explained Burton, who entitled the collection 'First Light'.

Everything unveiled by McQueen in a lookbook, and an evocative video shot by Jonathan Glazer along the Thames embarkment, where two damsels marched in the river underneath Blackfriars Railway Bridge. A couple embrace passionately, even as the girl pickpockets her handsome date in an Artful Dodger moment.


Alexander McQueen - Spring-Summer 2021 - Photo: Alexander McQueen - Alexander McQueen


​Dickensian drama, as the cast enjoy a picnic underneath some old potting piers, snacking out of Tupperware boxes, watching as a 19th-century peeler policeman pursues a youth on the other shore. Skimming stones and just lying back like mudlarks in the grey mud of the Thames, the constant drone of a machine in the background. 
 
The video was another first as it marked the first time the house has shown menswear and women’s together, with the ladies attired in upcycled fabrics and corsetry in an embellishment-free collection. A clip with all the dark energy one associates with the house of McQueen.
 
Ideally cut double-breasted wool coats are finished with massive silk sleeves and flared butterfly draping in poly faille, coming together in a stupendous look.


Alexander McQueen - Spring-Summer 2021 - Photo: Alexander McQueen - Alexander McQueen


For modern day Restoration molls, dusty pink bodice dresses, exploding in a sea of folds below the waist, in a look anchored by finely polished bovver boots; or soft leather corset dresses with saddle stitching. 
 
Classic men’s windowpane-check suits are recomposed, slashed and stitched with an intersecting layer of black serge; in a look that is arty, yet highly authoritative. While a denim jacket cut with faerie-queen cocoon sleeves and paired with flared flamenco dresses is the hippest of possible ladies in waiting.


Alexander McQueen - Spring-Summer 2021 - Photo: Alexander McQueen - Alexander McQueen


 
Add in a soupçon of suggestive pizzazz with a décolleté leather biker, again finished with flared tulle sleeves, and you have a great fashion statement looking ahead to a moment when women can march with assurance around our planet.
 
Riffing on some of the ideas from the stellar McQueen menswear collection unveiled last week, Burton composed several damsels-in-distress cocktails made of engineered photocopied print fabrics.
 
This collection will go into stores in February, but can already be pre-ordered from Wednesday, Dec. 15 on the McQueen website. The house is also inviting in top clients on an appointment-only basis to its three key flagships in London, New York and Shanghai, where they can try on the full collection and make their picks.
 
Oliver Twist would have been pleased.

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