For the last 15 years, London Fashion Week has been McQueen-less. But finally, more than 10 years after the late, great Alexander McQueen passed away, Sarah Burton and the McQueen brand have graced the runway of LFW once again. And it was entirely worth the wait.
The prodigal name has returned to London and it feels like it never left. What Sarah Burton seems to have created for the Fall/Winter Ready-to-Wear 2016 collection is a perfect continuation of her pre-fall designs. She made us feel as if we’d just barely woken up from a dream of sheer and sequin perfection and then were somehow able to effortlessly fall back asleep and slip into the same, sparkly dream.
What surprised me the most is that even though the illusion dress has been done and one again, across red carpets and movie premieres and runways, every single sheer and sequin gown that walked through London Fashion Week felt new and exciting. That says a lot about Burton’s ability to expand on not only runway trends but years of trends that somehow never feels derivative, but masterful and unique.
The show was full of nature motifs, emblazoned on pieces in sequins and exquisite embroidery. Butterflies, unicorns and flowers, both in the embroidered patterns of the clothing and the pins that donned the models’ hair, floated down the runway. Each piece felt like a painting and unsurprisingly so. The bodices of the shorter dresses were embellished with sparkling butterfly wings and painted with sweeping floral shapes.
There was also Oscar-runway material everywhere like this gorgeous, striped and frilled piece:
Or this cutout and caped number.
In typical Alexander McQueen (and Sarah Burton) fashion, there were the unique and unusual pieces, and those are what have been making headlines all day. This floor-length, off-the-shoulder quilted jacket for one.
Or this one-sided sheer illusion dress with the shape of a unicorn in gold sequins.
And the finale look, with 3-D butterflies, sheer crystal overlays, and feathers.
In my opinion, the best part of the collection, especially since this was the Ready-to-Wear runway, were the absolutely stunning leather and fur jackets and dresses that I want to own more than anything.
What makes a McQueen runway so special is the fact that you can look at a piece and immediately know it’s McQueen, without even blinking an eye. Because if you do, you might just miss something spectacular.