Sarah Burton brought Alexander McQueen back to London for a show inspired by the Renaissance master and the human eye
For its SS23 show, Alexander McQueen took us back inside its giant, bubble-shaped greenhouse, this time installed at the University of Greenwich campus, on the side of the Thames. Appropriate, then, that models were sent down the runway in bumsters and sharp black tailoring that looked as if it had just been slashed with gardening shears, while onlookers wafted their faces with their show notes.
“This collection is about searching for humanity and human connection,” says Sarah Burton, the label’s creative director, following today’s presentation. The eye – another recurring image, peeping out at the audience throughout the show from draped dresses and double-breasted suit jackets – was also, apparently, “a symbol of that humanity, a register of emotion, an expression of uniqueness”. See also: Naomi Campbell in a sequin-and-crystal-studded bodysuit with a glittering iris and black pupil looming at its centre.
Elsewhere, there was the usual sculpted leather in the form of waist-cinching corsets and a bright orange, asymmetrical skirt, alongside bodysuits with pom-pom-style fringing. A final inspiration came courtesy of the Dutch painter Hieronymus Bosch, whose work – such as the Garden of Earthly Delights – Burton describes as: “At once dark and beautiful.” This Boschian beauty popped up in colour a couple of times, on a psychedelic dress and bodysuit, and finally graced an all-white, sliced-up dress to close out the show.