23rd November 2022

Alexander McQueen Pre-SS23 Collection

Michael Meir-Wright looks at the new collection from creative director Sarah Burton

The ancient Chinese philosopher Zhuangzi once opined that, “the wise man looks into space and knows there is no limited dimensions”.   There have been countless visionaries who have gazed up at the cosmos and found profound inspiration.  Joining this legion is Sarah Burton, creative director at Alexander McQueen.  For pre-SS23, her collection captures the wonders of the night sky while revelling in the rebellious mettle of the House’s distinct codes.  The result is a story that dissects, deconstructs and reconstructs the central precepts of tailoring.

Asymmetrical dresses mesmerise as snapshots of twinkling nebulae against a black void.  Long gowns with angular tailoring at the shoulders and replete with silver sequins and celestial motifs recall the spectacular deep field images from the new James Webb Space Telescope.

Elsewhere, Burton continues to reappraise and rejuvenate sartorial traditions by imbuing them with a subtle eroticism and innovative detailing.  The classic lines of a single-breasted suit for example are both enhanced and challenged with jackets incorporating built-in harnesses and cutaway waists.

The ubiquitous bustier is also reimagined in black leather and paired with a balloon skirt to create a sensual, fetish-inspired silhouette that juxtaposes flesh and fabric.  Whereas, a deconstructed dress featuring both angular lines and form-flattering curves approaches creative sensuality from a different aesthetic.

Throughout it all, arresting accents of powder pink, dusty lilac and pale yellow disrupt a noticeably restrained palette to evoke the quiet, ethereal beauty of an evening glow.  And though muted, the colourway provokes voyages of the imagination through the unending totality of the heavens.

Accessories are not overlooked for Pre-SS23.  Platform boots and ear cuffs all sport embroidered cosmic imagery, while the late Lee McQueen’s fascination with punk iconography is explored through metal eyelets on oversized leather bags.  Finally, necklaces and earrings are cast in molten silver and gold to complement the palette and underwrite the luxe sophistication.

Sarah Burton has turned her creative vision ad astra for Pre-SS23, with a collection that encourages flights of fancy and explorations of undiscovered frontiers.  And, even more importantly, it reminds us of the beauty beyond our own fragile world.


For more information on Alexander McQueen Pre-SS23, click here

Click here to watch the Pre-SS23 campaign film

To watch the new Alexander McQueen campaign film for The Slash Bag starring Kaia Gerber, click here

Click here to read our last feature on Alexander McQueen

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