Alexander McQueen Spring Summer Collection 2021

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Like so much else in 2020, FoF has migrated from IRL to digital, and it promises to be well worth a window on your desktop. Anyone seeking some direct-from-designer insight about this attractively photographed pre-collection by Burton and her team is especially urged to jump on the stream.

As per the notes that accompanied these look book images this morning: “This collection was designed during lockdown. It is made predominantly out of stock fabric: overprinted, overdyed—renewed.”

The result was photographed on a beach along what looks like a section of southern England’s Jurassic Coast, an area long renowned as a fruitful source of fossils. Both in material substance (as outlined in that statement) and creative expression, that location seemed pertinent to the clothes.

This was a new McQueen collection in which many long-standing preoccupations of the house were both preserved and evolved.

The process of production was transformed into product on an Edith Head–worthy one-shouldered gown whose silk skin was printed with sketches made while preparing this collection: “London,” “lace edge,” “bride,” and “wildflowers” were some of the cursive clues dropped in around the silhouettes.

A gabardine trench was spliced at the front with tailoring cotton, black suiting was disrupted by fiery fuchsia bows, and a biker was refashioned as a dress . All these were 2021 updates of McQueen’s ongoing exploration of hybridization and cross-pollination in dress.

Violent dip-dyed dégradé color transitions and filtered screen-print-y rose reliefs deepened the impression of creative layering—thought process applied over thought process. Even in 2D the richness of texture was apparent. This latest stage in McQueen’s evolution appeared a natural selection for the year of change to come.