Photograph courtesy of Alexander McQueen

“We exist as individual, individual entities on one level, but we are much more powerful connected to each other.”

Towering piles of mulch were artfully laid out in a Brooklyn warehouse this week to form a runway for Alexander McQueen’s fall/winter collection.

Creative director Sarah Burton was inspired by nature, namely mycelium, an underground root-like fungus that connects trees and transfers nutrients between plants. A metaphor for interconnectedness and community, the theme also recalls earlier collections by the late Lee Alexander McQueen, who was inspired by animals and the elements.

“The mycelium has the deepest interconnecting power, transmitting messages through a magical underground structure, allowing trees to reach out to each other when they or their young need help or are sick,” said Burton in a statement.

At the show (held in New York for the first time in 23 years), that idea resulted in an explosion of kaleidoscopic mushrooms. Vibrant colours, mushroom embroideries and psychedelic visuals punctuate the London label’s new line. Punk-inspired black patterns have been injected with pops of color. Traditional McQueen leather goods like jackets, biker dresses, tops, and pants were accented with bondage elements like spikes, belts, and suspenders.

The trippy collection leaned into natural imagery, parading pieces in acid yellow, neon green, bright red and shimmering silver while incorporating dramatic details like sequins, beads, ruffles, fringe and explosive tulle. to produce silhouettes of mushroom caps.

Among McQueen’s models was Kaia Gerber, who wore a one-shoulder dress embellished with crystals, silver beads and beaded oyster mushroom embroidery, inspired by the one Burton saw pushing outside a window of his office building there. months old.

Burton used asymmetrical silhouettes to bring the collection’s mushroom theme to life. Dresses with deconstructed corsets, pants with slits, and ripped fringe sweaters with bright patterns reinforced McQueen’s new dedication to vibrancy and energy.

In keeping with the couture seen in New York, Paris and Milan, the garments featured pointed-shouldered suits that appeared to have been spray-painted in psychedelic designs. The prints were reminiscent of one of Alexander McQueen’s most famous shows, the 1999 show. No. 13. At the end of the presentation, two outstretched robot arms sprayed a white dress worn by model Shalom Harlow in black and neon yellow paint.

The new designs were a nod to the eponymous designer’s affinity for shock factor on the runway, which helped him establish a strong identity and brand. Mushrooms, on the other hand, attracted fashion attention in recent years, mycelium fabrics being hailed as a sustainable alternative to leather. In the Burton show, 85% of the materials were recycled.

Although no mushroom leather was used in this collection, the designer said she and her team are experimenting with organic matter. Metaphorically, mushrooms are known to represent rebirth, transformation and enlightenment. And as Burton finds a sense of rootedness in the roots of the label, the organization is the perfect representation of its future.

“We exist as individual, individual entities on one level, but we are much more powerfully connected to each other, to our families, to our friends, to our community,” Burton’s statement read. “As a community, we are infinitely more capable of restoring, reinventing, rejuvenating – healing.”

Browse the gallery below to see looks from the Alexander McQueen Fall/Winter 2022 show.

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