Sarah Burton says there is beauty in the skies, even when it’s gloomy and the clouds are grey. Alexander McQueen’s Spring 2022 collection was inspired by the London skies, specifically the forms and colors of clouds from daybreak to nightfall. Show attendees met in the East End of London on a rooftop and were seated in a clear dome that provided a perfect display of the hovering cloudy, grey sky.
The setting fully immersed guests in the collection to follow. If there’s anything Alexander McQueen is known to accomplish with their designs, it’s to evoke emotion. Founder Lee Alexander McQueen was a master of storytelling through clothes and creating fashion moments that were gazed upon like art in a museum. Since his passing in 2010, it’s been said that there’s been a challenge for the British fashion house to live up to Lee’s greatness. However, we would argue that Burton, who designed beside Lee and started as his full-time personal assistant, has found a great balance in expressing her voice, while maintaining and evolving the brand’s core design DNA.
Sounds of a thunderstorm signaled the start of the show. Fashion power players were present and actor Yahya Abdul-Mateen and actress Sonam Kapoor were too. Look 1 stormed down the runway; the first model walked in a double-breasted tailored coat with cloud sleeves made in black wool.
Shortly after, supermodel Anok Yai hit the runway in Look 3, another double-breasted tailored moment that mirrored the back and the sleeves of a bomber jacket. Each model walked strong and at a steady pace to the crackling of the thunder and lightning. “I love the idea of the McQueen woman being a storm chaser,” Burton said in a release.
At a quick glance, one may think the prints on the McQueen dresses were tie-dye, but they are actually more intricate. “Storm chasing is not only about the beauty of the views but also a sense of mystery and excitement,” Burton explained in a release. “About embracing the fact that we can’t ever be sure of what might happen next.” Off-the-shoulder dresses, ones that tied around the neck, and some held up by two spaghetti straps were printed with unique shapes and hues of clouds. No two were the same—just like in the sky.
The McQueen woman is someone who is sure of herself. She walks with power, and is always dressed effortlessly chic. She is known to juxtapose a beautiful dress with a pair of trainers or derby shoes. She loves leather, denim and a well-tailored silhouette.
‘London Skies’ was a collection of everyday pieces for the fashion elite, and plenty of moments fitting for a red carpet photo op. The clothing evoked emotion, and the silhouettes accentuated the shape of a woman. McQueen’s tailoring is always strong and exudes confidence. Look 10 was the perfect example—a pristine trench coat constructed with parachute sleeves and a rolled parachute hem.
Leave it to the McQueen bride to show up to the wedding in a black dress. Look 35 was an off-the-shoulder skeletal corset dress embroidered with crystal raindrops, and paired with a black veil and derby shoes—that’s a badass bride! Naomi Campbell was the icing on the cake, or the end of the storm I should say; the beloved supermodel closed the show in a tulle ensemble that was also embroidered in crystal raindrops wrapped around her legs and down to her feet.