Alexander McQueen AW23 Men’s Collection Launch
Jodi Bhachu-Smith takes a look at the debut of Sarah Burton's new men's story
Sarah Burton is no stranger to the art of tailoring. In fact, her work has always paid homage to the sartorial codes which have forever been entwined with Alexander McQueen’s history. For the new Alexander McQueen AW23 men’s collection, Burton continues her masterful explorations by reimagining traditional male codes in bold and beautiful ways.
Taking notes from archival McQueen, the story plays with proportion and works to draw the eye toward unusual destinations. High waists are a frequent theme, and, in juxtaposition to the famed bumster, floor-sweeping hems elongate the leg to elegant possibilities. The attention drawn to the waistline creates a distinctive, hourglass silhouette to subvert the conventional principles of masculinity. This is exemplified by the jumpsuits sporting cut-out waists, a detail Burton had previously played with in her Spring 2020 womenswear collection. Double-breasted bustiers create novel outlines for men to place the figure at the centre of attention.
In reference to early McQueen, the kilt was also a prominent part of the new design theory. This time, in two variations: one more traditional, the other a more contemporary, asymmetric interpretation. Layered over trousers, they add depth and complexity while disrupting pervading notions of male forms. Coveralls are a further, subtle acknowledgement of the brand’s history, but here they’re reimagined in structured denim.
Burton’s laser-like attention to detail and craftsmanship underpins the collection’s more straightforward looks. From double-breasted blazers and dropped-shoulder shirts, to chic cigarette trousers, compromise was clearly not going to be an option when it came to the fundamentals of tailoring. The shapes moved between sharp, with hard and precise lines, to softer and more tactile touches like quilted jackets and graphic print knit jumpers.
The colour palette favours traditional sartorial tones, in particular black, cream, and khaki. These are offset by bold strokes of red, and the occasional flashes of yellow –exemplified in the recurring orchid motifs found woven, printed, or embroidered throughout. The blooms blossomed across two-piece suits and wrapped around jackets to invite the eye to continually explore.
The accessories here are few but deliberate. Stacked silver earrings and bold rings match the McQueen seal belt buckle and silver hardware. Bags, including totes (Look 10), duffels (Look 17), and minis (Look 20), are also coordinated with their respective looks to neatly unify a collection that will bring a compelling and distinctive kind of fashion to the streets this winter.
For more information about the Alexander McQueen AW23 Men’s collection, click here
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