Glass presents the Alexander McQueen X Jonathan Glazer film: the women’s SS21 and men’s pre-fall 2021 collections
IT IS time to come home. Back to the city, back to London, instructs Creative Director Sarah Burton. In a short film, titled First Light, by British filmmaker Jonathan Glazer, the Alexander McQueen women’s SS21 and men’s pre-fall 2021 collections are presented.
The industrial, and arguably dirty side to London becomes the backdrop to two collections. Putting this city at the centre, sees Burton rewind to the humble beginning of the fashion house, swapping Paris Fashion Week for the stone covered banks of the Thames. Maybe not as glamorous as the Parisian streets, Alexander McQueen has always been able to see the beauty in the unconventional and mundane.
The graffiti sprayed walls, the pitter-patters of rain and the simple pleasure of skipping stones all come together to create a message beyond the glitz and the glamour of luxury fashion. Not trying to hide the fact that fashion is still working tirelessly, but also not over-complicating it either. The message being, here are two collections, but also here is life.
In an never-ending narrative of juxtaposition, both the Alexander McQueen collections and Glazer’s film direction present hot-and-cold, black-and-white, and the contrast of innocence and deception. There is no extreme storyline to the five-minute film, but rather a sensual, intimate look into the world of the young McQueen man and woman: daring, pure and together.
Burton speaks on the film, explaining “Shape, silhouette and volume, the beauty of the bare bones of clothing stripped back to its essence – a world charged with emotion and human connection.”
The men’s pre-fall 2021 collection has a completely muted colour palette unlike what has previously been seen. Largely made up of black and white pieces, the exceptional tailoring that McQueen is built upon shines through. An oversized trench coat with kimono sleeves, a single-breasted jacket in Prince of Wales wool check and a double-breasted trompe l’oeil jacket are particular highlights.
Experimental designs are among this small collection, like the double-breasted tailored coat made out of wool with an exploded parka back and McQueen graffitied on the back, as well as the single-breasted camel coat with the dropped MA1 sleeves with a parka back. Leather made a triumphant return again, but this time in a black biker jacket with intricate zip detailing accompanied with matching trousers.
Every season, Sarah Burton reinvents the armour for the McQueen woman, but there are two fundamental characteristics that have never changed about her – her vulnerability and her strength. Whether the inspiration stems from the weather-ridden hills of Scotland or the flowers blooming in the gardens of England, every McQueen woman has embodied these two qualities.
Full flared skirts, a dress with a V-neckline and a pleated skirt made from camomile polyfaille and corseted dresses out of either black or ivory Chantilly lace, are the hyper-feminine tones in the SS21 collection.
The powerful silhouettes lie in the tailoring that subtly highlights a women’s figure whilst remaining true to the roots of menswear. The hybrid shirt dress with exploded sleeves that inject a burst of volume into the piece, a trench frock coat in ivory leather and a single-breasted jacket with a spliced trompe l’oeil bodice in black wool lay the foundation to untouchable craftsmanships that creates this collection.
The trompe l’oeil double-breasted tailored jacket with matching trousers that have cuffed peg hems made from Prince of Wales check is a direct link to the men’s pre-fall 2021 collection, hinting at the his-and-hers nature of the brand – whatever he can do, I can do better attitude.
Together, the two collections are triumphant and borderline exceptional from all angles. Maybe the journey home isn’t bleak, but utterly beautiful.