Alexander McQueen was never afraid to mine the vaults of fashion history for inspiration. Such references can often read heavy-handed or costume-y, which makes Sarah Burton’s modern meditation on ecclesiastical vestments for pre-fall 2013 all the more miraculous.
Short velvet dresses with laser-cut details called to mind medieval tunics, and generously cut capes with draped pendants were clearly inspired by the church, while high-necked dressed evoked images of evil fairytale queens. But a strict palette of red, black, and white, kept the looks rooted firmly in the 21st century.
For all the simplicity, there were touches of couture craftsmanship, most notably in the white-on-white embroidery and swathes of baroque lace. With cascades of velvet in blazing scarlet and blinding-white fur — it was a look so regal that even ermine wouldn’t have seemed out of place. Yet, this was a collection that combined both high and low, with hints of puritanism amid the luxury bringing the look back down to earth.
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Images Courtesy of Alexander McQueen