Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Resort 2013 Collection | Alexander McQueen

It’s been a long time since designers put much thought into tailoring a great pantsuit for a woman, but Sarah Burton herself a trouser person has been turning her attention to it for resort. After three seasons of crafting spectacular dresses almost exclusively, she’s plainly feeling more like taking on the menswear-derived side of Alexander McQueen’s legacy. “I thought it would be nice to go back to the body. To be sleeker, more sexy,” she said. “We had been doing a lot of peplums, but we took them away to make the torso fitted and wanted to visually elongate the legs as much as possible.”

Lee McQueen trained in men’s tailoring on Savile Row, of course a memory which is still very much alive in that bastion of British tradition. Only the other weekend, at opening day for the London menswear shows, his former co-apprentices at Anderson & Sheppard were remembering how the teenage McQueen applied himself for days, nights, and years to mastering the techniques that go into cutting a flattering gentleman’s suit. What he came out with was the ability to adapt the template to his own version for women, often topping it with a fairly swaggering tailcoat or topcoat. Now his own apprentice is adapting it further changes brought about by time moving on, and perhaps the fact that the perspective is more female. There are no bumsters in this collection, for instance Burton’s pants reach the waist (and sometimes higher, in one case, to be cinched with a wide patent belt inset with a jeweled chain). Although trouser legs are bootcut (as many of the McQueen originals were), the fabric Burton uses for her most stunning black tuxedo pantsuit with white revers is a drapery crepe, not McQueen’s favorite more rigid menswear material. The shoulders are peaked, but the gradual softening of structure Burton is bringing to the collection continues. And, when it comes to the chic combination of a tunic dress over fluid pants seen halfway through the collection, that’s an innovation of her own.

To get to this new balance of masculinity and femininity, Burton researched pictures of David Bowie in his gender-blurring Glam rock early seventies phase, Art Déco, and the gilded paintings of the Viennese Secessionist Gustav Klimt. It goes without saying that there are dresses in great variety pleated, gold-pailletted, and one a feat of marquetry-like patchwork on metallic snakeskin, all familiarly McQueen. It’s just that the eye always focuses more on the new. Which brings us to another point of McQueen evolution in this collection the jewelry. It appears as chain links on shoes as well as on belts, and there’s a new crystal circlet necklace, which is bound to be an instant object of lust.

Selections by ANDREA JANKE Finest Accessories

Photos: Courtesy of Alexander McQueen


'Alexander McQueen Pre-Fall 2012' 

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