The Alexander McQueen Spring 2021 RTW collection was expressed in a muted approach to Sarah Burton’s favorite recurring elements, letting her construction speak for itself.
In her collection notes, Creative Director Sarah Burton newfound desire for purity: “Shape, silhouette, and volume, the beauty of the bare bones of clothing stripped back to its essence—a world charged with emotion and human connection.” The film felt as if Burton had lost herself in the stark solitude of the stripped-down capital, and noticed in it a beauty you rarely get to see.
There was little sign of restraint. Like the Edward Scissorhands of wardrobe mutation, she left no garment un-spliced: A biker jacket married cocoon-shaped tulle sleeves and a ballroom skirt, a Crombie coat fused with an MA-1 jacket, and a poplin dress mutated with a pique shirt.
“I made a decision early on in lockdown only to use fabrics that we already had; print on them, reinvent them, and make them feel new,” Burton said. She demonstrated it no more poignantly than in a trompe l’oeil butterfly-draped bustier dress printed with scans of those same pieces, allowing their folds and creases to serve as decoration. “I believe that it is our responsibility to protect the things we love from the past, to preserve our values, signatures, and history, but it is also our job to innovate,” she said. “There is comfort in familiarity and excitement in experimentation. The two coexist.”