Mycelium: Alexander McQueen FW22

Sarah Burton draws inspiration from nature for her fall collection.

Mycelium, the structure of fungus that connects all earthly beings, provides the inspiration for Sarah Burton’s FW22 collection for Alexander McQueen. In the wake of the pandemic, Burton was inspired by this fascinating natural phenomenon of a fungus with profound interconnecting power – and plays with it as a metaphor for the importance of community and collective action.

The collection is laden with asymmetry, playful mohair knits, and vibrant jewel tones, evoking a sense of earthliness and the beauty of nature. “We exist as single, individual entities on one level, but we are far more powerful connected to each other, to our families, to our friends, to our community,” says Burton about the role of mycelium as inspiration for this collection.

Leather and moto fashion were essential to this collection that relies heavily on the dichotomy of structural and flowing fabrics. The first look, a black leather bustier dress, has a fitted bodice paired with an asymmetrical skirt that moves gracefully with the model’s body. Another key piece was a moto jackets with an abundance of zippers and structural padded shoulders, yet loose cape-like sleeves. Burton included a catwoman-esque bodycon jumpsuit, the FW22 runway favorite, with bold motocross detailing and clasp-laden biker boots. 

In typical McQueen fashion, suiting is essential to this collection. Exquisite tailoring took center stage, evoking sex appeal with blazers as tops and delicate bralettes placed underneath bold-shouldered coats. While oversized trench coats graced many runways this season, Burton took a more tailored and traditional approach to her waist-highlighting trenches and suiting looks. However, her color palette is anything but traditional. Suits took on hues such as lime green, avocado green, and brilliant crimson. This color palette transitions into her playful mohair knits, reminiscent of the fungal structures that inspired her collection. One knit piece even features a mushroom decal on the front.

“Given everything that has happened over the past two years, that seems more important than ever. As a community we are infinitely more able to restore, reinvent, rejuvenate – heal,” says Burton.

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