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Alexander McQueen spring-summer 2016 show

 

It was inside the vast inner courtyard of the Lycée Carnot that Sarah Burton, artistic director of Alexander McQueen, chose to show her spring-summer 2016 collection.

For the occasion the place was reconfigured, walls and floors insulated with black partitions and a floating parquet. Within this showcase the designer revisited the typical romanticism of the house but on a sunnier day. The subtly mussed braided hair of the models imbued a bucolic sweetness. Long dresses came in powdery and faded hues, pink and champagne. In a season where the designers have presented so much lace and drawn inspiration from turn of the century lingerie, undoubtedly influenced by the sublime exhibition Savage Beauty that celebrates Alexander McQueen, Sarah Burton delivered a dazzling performance in this vein. 

 

A white cotton voile dress is worn with a big petticoat complete with a delicately laced up bodice. A shirt dress with pleated plastron is adorned with a ruff. But while the house of Alexander McQueen has always drawn inspiration from the history of costume, its genius lies with knowing how to transform that into truly sumptuous and virtuoso garments that are simultaneously both innovative and contemporary. Chiselled and precise, the ruffles, flounces and cornucopia of sublime laces structure and energise the clothes. The blatant love of fabrics and the meticulous work of the in-house pattern cutters and seamstresses are readable in every single piece. Nothing is literal; it’s all about suggestion with short crinolines, corsets and black Spanish dresses perfectly reinvented. 

 

By Delphine Roche

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