For Pre-Fall ’21, Sarah Burton looked beyond the natural references that she usually turns to, and knuckled down on what’s becoming the Alexander McQueen brand’s bread and butter. In other words: the juxtaposition of pretty-meets-tough, a pared-back palette of solid colors that don’t compromise on impact, and tailoring so sharp it demands that the world adjust to proper dress codes once more.
New for this interim season offering was a focus on embellishment too—and for a brand that’s more synonymous with skulls and punk iconography, it’s landed very well. Not least with the glittering doves and sacred hearts that adorned an arresting cobalt blue ballgown’s bustier. While the collection was mainly devoid of print—save for a spectacular voluminous black and white dress that looks even better in the flesh—the devil was to be found in the details. Think: ruching on scarlet and blush dresses, architectural sleeves, the intersplicing of denim and khaki army gear on more traditional suiting, and an emphasis placed on both the soft and strong (even ruffles had a tough edge to them, trimmed with zips in some cases).
It’s armor for the modern moment which we’re so ready to re-enter, but without forgetting a little bit of the vulnerability we’ve learned to lean into.
See the full collection below: