Runway Review: Alexander McQueen

Drawing inspiration from the antique kimonos she began collecting on trips to Japan when she first starting working with Alexander McQueen, Sarah Burton paraded a series of couture samurai warrior princesses for SS15.  Walking a runway centered around two magnificent Marc Quinn orchid sculptures, the show opened in black and peony pink, pairing abstract blooms against bold geometric lines and tulip sleeves. Elegantly tailored capes with Oriental elements- mandarin collars, traditional circular patterns, and stylized florals – seemed a contemporary reinvention of the kimono, while wide kimono sleeves were paired with plunging necklines, to keep things fresh and forward looking.

As the peony pink accent ignited to red, the looks grew bolder- dresses bearing cut-out bustier tops, embossed black leather harness tops and sultry sheer sleeves, and patterns spiraling larger, evoking Katsushika Hokusai iconic “Great Wave at Kanagawa.” Head to toe black was anything but basic in patchworks rich in texture play, and circular patches of pattern adorning pockets and flared pant legs.  As the florals became more delicate and swirled into circles, the symmetry took on a yin and yang, cosmic and full of energy.
And then the flowers bloomed to life, in skirts that were a full bouquet of organza petals, sensuous and lush- paired with laser cut leather harnesses of course.

It was a collection that certainly did right by Burton’s mentor, and with next year’s Met Gala coinciding with “Chinese Whispers: Tales of the East in Art, Film, and Fashion” opening at The Anna Wintour Costume Center, we know who would be at the top of our wardrobe wish list…

About the Author

Sarah Bertness is a Brooklyn-based freelance writer covering the arts, music, fashion and culture. She has a love for all things avant-garde, late night rock and roll, wanderlust, and a good dose of fringe and gold sequins. You can follow her musings on Twitter and Instagram @sarahbertness.