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#SuzyPFW: Alexander McQueen’s Irish Poetry

作者:Suzy Menkes 編輯:yijie.Zhang 時間:2019年10月11日
內容來源:VOGUE時尚網  圖片來源:VOGUE國際網站:英國

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Sarah Burton brings craftwork and sustainability to the highest level of beauty and imagination

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? GoRunway.com

Sarah Burton brings craftwork and sustainability to the highest level of beauty and imagination

Just listening to Sarah Burton’s field trip to Ireland sounded like poetry: Up to the Giant’s Causeway in the far North, where a 300-year-old family farm is the last to work with traditional flax and calico techniques, painting it with potato starch and decorating the surface with endangered flower specimens.

“What I love is that each one is different and has its own character. Every time we did it, it came out differently,” the designer said backstage, before she sent out her shapely, limpid dresses and the surprise of crisper linen tailoring offset by the stage set of pure, creamy white rolls of linen suspended overhead.

Alexander McQueen Spring/Summer 2020

? GoRunway.com

Even if I had not seen the series of mood boards with their views of Irish landscapes and intricate handwork, I would have felt the spirit of nature and the home-made expressed in the outfits. They were mostly in black and off-white, but with touches of blue and red patterns focused on disappearing floral species.

Alexander McQueen Spring/Summer 2020

Each of the looks, from a white dress with blown-up sleeves to a sharply tailored black trouser suit, felt like classic McQueen, but with a hidden twist. The show elicited a visceral feeling of teamwork. And for good reason. Sarah ended by bringing her entire staff – creatives or behind-the-scenes workers – onto the stage as waves of applause came from a spellbound audience.

How does this designer make a collection that is so rare, yet so relevant? The fashion world and the younger generation talk about up-cycling, and in this collection, with its re-used pieces of the company’s lace and tulle, that concept reached the highest level. The materials were mingled with the revitalised work of Ireland’s last “beetlers” who cover linen with potato starch and hammer it so that the final effect – as seen on a stiffly crumpled black McQueen dress (and see top photo) – is of a uniquely beautiful texture.

Alexander McQueen Spring/Summer 2020

? GoRunway.com

Alexander McQueen Spring/Summer 2020

? GoRunway.com

“Each look tells its own story,” was Sarah’s manifesto. “The connection between the clothes was the time it took to make them. I was interested in clarity and paring things down to the essence of garments – stripping back to the toile. I love the idea of people having time to make things together, to meet and talk together, to reconnect with the world.”

Alexander McQueen Spring/Summer 2020

? Peter White / Getty

Sarah continued: “We went to Kew Gardens [in London] and did research about which speeches were endangered. Then we painted them and embroidered them on jeans as well. Then we went to Ireland to look at the linen mills. Sadly there are very few left, but they are some of the oldest in the world and are doing incredible things. We were thinking about how we could work with them in a modern way.”

It is rare to describe a collection as faultless. But this was as technically brilliant as it was mindful. The idea of embracing nature and turning sustainability into an art form has been part of Burton’s oeuvre for a long time. Now, it could not seem more relevant.

Alexander McQueen Spring/Summer 2020 finale

? GoRunway.com

But here is a caveat: Isn’t it time that the Kering luxury group, McQueen’s owner and supporter, thought of giving Sarah a couture showing for the upper echelons of her work? I would imagine that most of what she sent out could be defined in that way.

Alexander McQueen Spring/Summer 2020

? GoRunway.com

Then maybe there would be a chance to build a ready-to-wear brand with the same values – but available to a wider audience. Since Kering has lost Stella McCartney to rival LVMH, after nurturing her powerful vision of helping Planet Earth for two decades, there is surely an opportunity for bringing Sarah Burton’s deep beliefs to a wider audience?

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