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Paris Fashion Week Coverage: Alexander McQueen Spring 2013

Every description of an Alexander McQueen collection comes across as hyperbole. That is, until you realize that McQueen is hyperbole in fashion form. It is exaggeration to the ‘nth degree, and Alexander McQueen is one of the few brands capable of quite literally taking your breath away. This season, designer Sarah Burton pumped the influence of bees straight into the vein of her collection. It pulses with references to honey, honeycombs, bee stings, and flowers, all done in a dark, structural format that is infinitely emblematic of the brand.

Strict tailoring enforced a wasp-waistline on the jackets and vests that launched the collection, and interior padding across the hips embellished the feminine silhouette, placing curves where there were none before. The opening looks featured a gilded interlocked honeycomb pattern that was so slithery it looked reptilian. Giant black apiary headgear was paired with every look, and thus, the model was both bee and beekeeper at the same time. Shiny black, amber, and honey colors were tempered with studded tortoiseshell cuffs, chokers, belts, and harnesses, which added a regal stiffness to the presentation. At times, Burton would so closely mimic the wax cells of honeycomb by way of layered ruffles that they looked positively edible. Her closing eveningwear looks mimicked undulating fields of flowers – the source of all this honey – and spun them into majestic ball gowns.

But there is just no way that the Lucite tortoiseshell cage overlays, enormous skeletal hoop skirts, and six-feet-wide dresses are ready-to-wear – unless you’re ready to wear them to an event where sitting down is forbidden. Really, this is couture, and it’s thrilling, intoxicating, and provocatively feminine.

written by GRACE GORDON|photos: courtesy of GoRUNWAY

-October 3, 2012

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