Alexander McQueen made its highly-anticipated return to London Fashion Week for the first time in over a decade on Sunday (21 February), unveiling its womenswear Autumn/Winter 2016 collection on a labyrinth catwalk. Models wore black leather coats embroidered with butterflies and lips as they strutted down the snaking catwalk, to the delight of a packed showroom, which included US Vogue Editor-In-Chief Anna Wintour.
Sheer black cut-out dresses sported similar motifs, and feathered skirts were worn along with sheer corsets. Other outfits included sheer pastel pink evening gowns adorned with glistening crystals, paired with fur-trimmed capes.
The collection, by the creative director of Alexander McQueen Sarah Burton, was livestreamed for its one-off return to London. The iconic British label usually presents its collection during Paris Fashion Week. Fashion director of US luxury department store Neiman Marcus, Ken Downing, who attended the show, said it was nice to have Burton back in London.
"The idea of all of this lovely femininity that has a bit of an edge we're seeing everywhere, certainly all the embroidery, the use of details and adornment and embellishment on top of the leather pieces are superlative. You know, when you come to an Alexander McQueen show, Sarah's hand is far more than just ready-to-wear. She is truly a couturier at every level and it's like watching a fine couture show," he said.
McQueen himself was famous for his daring creations and avant-garde fashion shows, which drew upon themes of nature, history, romance and tragedy. Trained as apprentice on London's Savile Row, the designer rose from an east end London boyhood to become of the world's leading talents in fashion before he took his own life in 2010.