Is Sarah Burton leaving McQueen for Dior? We're not really sure... Especially after what we saw yesterday when she presented the Autumn Winter 2016 collection in London. Sarah Burton & Alexander McQueen are bound, inter-connected & so deeply entangled, it's impossible to imagine the designer working for another fashion house. Perhaps, it will happen one day but this brand new collection is, for the moment, the best refutation. McQueen is Burton's baby and to be honest, can you name another designer who would be able to take the helm of this house with such a deep & intense history? Collection after collection, she is transcending & translating the rich DNA of the brand into hyper femininity, power & irreverence. This season, Sarah Burton chose to present her latest effort in London. You may say that it's a beautiful tribute to Alexander McQueen and the city of London that looks like the McQueen woman actually: strong & irreverent. Perhaps, it is just because she is about to give birth and London seems more convenient... Any which way, London or not, the collection she imagined for AW16 is one of her most beautiful & inspired. All the savoir-faire of the house focused on this idea of the delicate dance between nightmare & dream and the result is absolutely stunning!
The first silhouette worn by Natalie Westling sets the tone for the whole collection: it will be heavily embroidered & embellished with elements reminding us of the vanities you can find in paintings. Elements evoking a woman's obsessions such as the flying of time (a pocket watch), death (the moth), riches & transmission (the lucky charms). All these adorn evanescent dresses & gowns such as the Sarabande lace gown, a stunning vision in black or biker jackets with shearling sleeves. The styling with antique silver jewelries is embellishing the outfits and adding something very McQueen, very cabinet of curiosities. Adoration is becoming chaotic in the surreal kaleidoscope of the sheer evening dresses at the end of the show. As we have already said, the McQueen Lady is irreverent so expect to find some sultry nods like bondage tailoring (a suit featuring multiple belts, the lapel of the jacket wrapping the body or a handpainted leather corset); Sex and Punk have always been very meaningful for the label. This is an impossible wardrobe that Sarah Burton has imagined for next Winter. Magical yet real creations flirting with couture. After all, when you think of the legacy of Alexander McQueen, creating impossible things is and will always be the challenge, the biggest but most beautiful one.
Pictures by Evan Schreiber for Dazed
The time when Mary Katrantzou designed hourglass-shaped dresses and was a master in 3Dprints seemed so long ago! Thanks to her inventive & endless savoir-faire, she managed to take another step further and beyong the technical challenge to create new silhouettes & shake British fashion. Of course, the embellishment galore is still significant here but it is worked in a different way. Remember Horror Vacui, her collection about the fear of empty spaces?
Re-inventing herself is something she perfectly masters so this time, for AW16, we're having an explosive meeting Princesses & Cowboys! Once again, her silhouettes are full of complex patchworks of textures & embellishments. Some are so filled with adornments & embroideries that a fall into kitsch could be inevitable! Yet, Mary Katrantzou magically avoids this trap and blissfully embraces this Americana theme with models wearing headscarves & outfits mixing a Past Present and Future image of Far West & Rodeo. A collection where psychedelic graphic prints meet leopard on a fur coat; where heart & flowery patterns are embossed on a leather skirt and paired with a lace shirt. These are some of the brilliant things that can twist a wardrobe just like the psychedelic cocktail dresses, the printed leather jackets, the butterfly sheer dress or the A-line starry coat. These and the Katrantzou touch i.e a lot of hybridizations in the embroideries & embellishments, and a unique sense of mixing the fabrics & prints. Considering the huge number of heats embroidered on the clothes, this collection is for all the women in love and all those who want to see la vie en rose!
Pictures by Chloé Le Drezen for Dazed
Words by Yann Sackville-West & Charles Margueritte