A profound respect for the artisanal makes craftsmanship the heart of the house of Alexander McQueen and the collection for Spring/Summer 2016 looks to the people of Spitalfields from the late 17th century, the Huguenot migrants who arrived in London as religious refugees. They brought with them their knowledge, skill in weaving and a love of naturalistic floral designs inspired by “The Line of Beauty” philosophy.
There’s a bohemian elegance to the McQueen woman this season as Sarah Burton draws on the roots and myths of English folklore to bring together the mood of the collection. Burton has also been exploring consistently the idea of heirlooms and found objects. Garments too carry history and hence feel precious and the collection has been finished and treated with a tactile hand, so that materials and surfaces feel aged and familiar.
The people of London’s Spitalfields from the late 17th Century and the Huguenot migrants who arrived as religious refugees were the starting point for Burton, they brought with them a skill in weaving and floral design. Those artisanal crafts were mined to the hilt; along with a love of folklore and the idea of heirloom. Fabrics looked aged and decayed, from gentle frays in the surface of washed silk gowns to jeans with exaggerated cuffs that were shredded to the extreme.
It was bohemian in parts, exotic in others – those Indian-mirrored ivory frock coats being the best example. Denim jeans, mainly selvedge, were highly destructed and then paired with floral designed Indian coats to make up for the destruction!.