Alexander McQueen release pre-SS23 womenswear collection

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FOR THE past year, Sarah Burton has found a well of inspiration for her Alexander McQueen collections by looking up at the sky. The above sea of undulating colour has found itself intertwined in the seams, on the print and as the basis for embroidery, and now for pre-SS23, Burton looks even closer at the night sky and delves into the cosmos.

Alexander McQueen Pre SS23

Balancing the formality of tailoring and structure, with the House’s rebellious design language of dissecting, deconstructing and reconstructing, the Alexander McQueen collection remains loyal to its silhouettes while focusing on cut-outs. Presenting one of their most muted colour palettes to date, the hues of the evening glow and the darkness of the night progress with each look until we are left with shooting stars of crystal embellishments and constellations of glitter, bringing the evening to an ending.

Alexander McQueen Pre SS23
Alexander McQueen Pre SS23
Alexander McQueen Pre SS23

The beginning looks are toned down compared to the rest of the pre-SS23 collection, focusing more on refinement than extravagance. Cropped tailored jackets in black sartorial wool, cutaway waists in blazers, and off-the-shoulder or one-sleeve dresses bring attention to both skin and fabric, emphasising the beautiful connection between garment and wearer, but also the juxtaposition between skin and fabric.

Alexander McQueen Pre SS23
Alexander McQueen Pre SS23
Alexander McQueen Pre SS23

The 44-look collection played with favoured motifs of the past year, like the harness, but this time coming with silver metal eyelet detailing or thick crystals; exploded tulle skirts returned in pastel blues; and, the cocoon shaped sleeves moved from the outerwear to shirts.

Alexander McQueen Pre SS23
Alexander McQueen Pre SS23
Alexander McQueen Pre SS23

Though similarities with previous collections are there, bringing a cohesion through from 22 into 23, black Lyon lace, Paris net, open necklines and frock-cut coats make a new entry in the McQueen repertoire hinting at the beginnings of a new, more sensual aesthetic for the up-coming year as less seems to be more.

Alexander McQueen Pre SS23
Alexander McQueen Pre SS23
Alexander McQueen Pre SS23

What seems to be Burton’s final glance at the sky, Alexander McQueen’s pre-SS23 is showing hints that a new dawn may be approaching, one that sparkles and offers more freedom to women. Taking power in what is and isn’t shown through strict adherence to proportions, the collection offers total control during a time where uncertainty within society is ever-expanding – a little bit like the sky.

by Imogen Clark 

Lookbook images shot by Jet Swan

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