12th March 2023

Alexander McQueen AW23 – Paris Fashion Week

Meg Parrott looks back at the new collection from Sarah Burton at PFW

For Alexander McQueen AW23, Sarah Burton journeyed to the wild side for her latest collection. And not only did she travel there, but she made you want to follow. Entitled Anatomy, the designer returned to Paris Fashion Week with a 55-look offering that explored “beauty and power… with a focus on cut, proportion and silhouette.” Here, tailoring was stripped to its bare bones, with silhouettes sharp enough to slice paper.

Naomi Campbell led the the charge in a stunning black jumpsuit with a strapless bustier bodice. And, while black constituted the foundations of the colour palette, deep purples, maroons and reds cameoed on a number of exquisitely fashioned looks. They all came “cut on the body and inspired by the body within,” as Burton described it in her show notes. Fantastically deconstructed cable knit dresses and vests with slashed detailing indulged in the House’s proclivity for bewitching admirers.

Meditations on craft and form, with a particular emphasis on ‘the classic subverted,’ were the beguiling subtexts to look out for on the catwalk. McQueen’s legacy reverberated in the continued rejection of conventions and norms, with Orchids “that grow in the wild – both predator and prey,” as running motifs in the story.

The flower was the symbol of the moment; dressed up in sumptuous fabrics and defiant, bold lines, to capture the essence of the Burton’s muse: precise yet strong, dangerous yet delicate. As statement crests or sublimated on stark suiting, it echoed the harmony of the human and the natural world.

Silhouettes for both men and woman came tailored as jumpsuits with revealing cutouts to take the archetypal hourglass to new heights. Heeled leather trousers elongated the legs and upside-down jackets in silk duchesse added further structure in Burton’s transgressive philosophy. Science fiction eveningwear and sculptural leatherwork reminded us that McQueen doesn’t neglect artisanship in their journeys to the underworld either.

“In the language of flowers, the orchid is a symbol of love,” said Burton. So too, is Alexander McQueen AW23 – a love letter to the late and great Lee Alexander McQueen, penned with creative prowess.


To read our review of the Rick Owens show from PFW, click here

Click here for more information on Alexander McQueen  AW23

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