Alexander McQueen Pre-Fall 2019 Collection Images
Division and Britain go hand in hand, especially now. Four countries bolted together (for the moment) as one, near equally inhabited by Remainers and Leavers, it’s a nation united by disunity. For this Pre-Fall collection Sarah Burton and her team looked to England’s North—eternally polarized against England’s South—to build a collection of clothes that strikingly combined a collage of contrasting regional elements into an innovative and harmonious whole.
Burton, a Maxonian, counts as a bona fide Northerner and the North-sourced ingredients she rallied here were broader than the outstanding rose-strewn, tailoring-focused (and furthering) Fall collection. Here, the cut crystals threaded upon a sleeveless house-shouldered tailored jacket and strung along the surface of layered lace and tulle dresses were nods to the grandiose chandeliers of Blackpool’s great gilded ballrooms. The occasional crystal on multi-buttoned cardigan or spike toed loafer were imagined as earrings lost in a particularly passionate cha-cha-cha.
That jacket and almost every other in the collection were cut with a low skirt, a semi-peaked lapel, and a single button, then placed above triple-pleated peg-leg pants to muster a silhouette meant as tribute to the Neo-Edwardian style of Northern 1950s teddy girls. Some of the suits came in a silk-printed rip-edged photo collage of rose images, both as tribute to those evergreen floral symbols of the North—Lancashire v York—and the album art of Factory Records. The rose motif rambled through the collection, reappearing as embroideries on jackets or metallic relief on powdery pink, nylon-shot silk jacquard suits and a deconstructed bodice top with side-skirt. A washed silk duchesse dress in the collage print featured a Victorian bustle back (as a nod to the Brontes) with a tulle-pumped, exploded couture-style sleeve (back to the ballroom), while a long white waffle cotton shirt dress referenced the made in Manchester suffragette movement.