Alexander McQueen’s Spring/Summer 2022 Collection is an Ode to London

The British label’s emotional return to the city looked to the complex relationship between mankind and nature

For Spring/Summer 2022, Creative Director Sarah Burton returned Alexander McQueen to its storied London roots. Having historically shown during Paris Fashion Week, the move back to the brand’s origin felt natural for Burton who looked to the city’s tumultuous weather and historic landmarks as inspiration.

Situated atop a transparent dome at the Tobacco Dock, models and spectators were flooded with sunlight throughout the presentation — a rarity for the notoriously grey city. As with many creatives during the early days of the pandemic, Burton became one with nature. Naturally, Burton toyed with the ever changing, and fraught, relationship between Mother Earth and mankind throughout the collection. Storm chasing, as Burton dubbed it.

“Storm chasing is not only about the beauty of the views but also a sense of mystery and excitement – about embracing the fact that we can’t ever be sure of what might happen next,” Burton explained in a statement. “To give up control and be directly in touch with the unpredictable is to be part of nature, to see and feel it at its most intense – to be at one with a world that is bigger and more powerful than we are.”

With unstable weather patterns and climate disasters occurring globally, Burton’s reference felt undeniably relevant. The designer referenced both the beauty and hazards of the outdoors, creating the collection’s sprawling prints from views of the city and turbulent weather patterns.

McQueen girls decked out in punk-inspired trenches and billowing outerwear, complete with chunky boots and utilitarian sneakers, are certainly ready to bear the brunt of inclement weather. Not only commenting on the grim realities of the present, the collection also featured a range of lighthearted tulle gowns and embroidered pieces — hinting at the complex duality of mankind’s relationship with nature.

As always, Burton employed noticeable design signatures of the label’s founder — subverted notions, subcultural references, and revamped tailoring. What sets Burton apart is her innate ability to blend the anti-fashion essence of McQueen in a way that remains palatable for the everyday.

Slated towards the tail end of the show, Burton paraded an unbridled moment of McQueen-inspired macabre — a black veiled wedding gown. Apparently, this bride wears platform boots and rhinestone hoisery.

Closing the show in an embellished cropped blazer and overstated tulle skirt was none other than Naomi Campbell. A longtime muse of Lee McQueen, Campbell has not walked for the house since the designer’s passing in 2010, until now. A homecoming for the ages.

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