This past month of back-to-back Fashion Weeks has highlighted a movement toward effortless wardrobe pieces that eschew formal rigidity, restrictive tailoring, and body-conscious silhouettes in favor of casual, breezy charm. It was something of a shock to see Alexander McQueen follow this trend train for Spring/Summer 2015 with a wearable, consumer-friendly collection of relaxed separates and elegant dresses.
With McQueen now championing convenient style – rather than the stiff, voluminous, hard-to-wear looks of seasons past – the brand reaches out to the sartorial desires of real women. Of course, the accessible fashions on the McQueen runway only go so far under Sarah Burton’s regime, with an elongated silhouette held together with rigid, glossy trim and unyielding metallic accents. She’s not ready to let go of austerity completely, and instead juxtaposes the solid and the fragile with the deft certainty of a sculptor.
This season, Burton also holds femininity in focus with massive blossoms in an Asian-inspired collection that throws a little mystery and Kabuki theatre into the mix. The male/female orchids that formed the backdrop of the runway were designed by sculptor Marc Quinn, but the printed chrysanthemums and blossoms in this collection are imparted by Burton’s personal obsession with Japanese kimonos. Beautiful abstract florals are represented on a number of styles, including cape-back shifts and tunics, overlong trousers, and strappy dresses with fitted bodices and drop-waist skirts. For the most part, the silhouette is fluid and informal, but Burton builds structure into the looks with rounded, stiff sleeves and glossy textured straps to support the framework of her elegant dresses. Complexly constructed, lavishly detailed, and ultimately wearable looks forge a bridge between McQueen’s highly conceptual aesthetic and consumers’ everyday wardrobe needs. Borne out on Burton’s imaginative fabrics and incredible textures, this collection radiates desirability.
Photos: Courtesy of Imaxtree