After only showing in Paris for the past 14 years and taking a break from London, the British designer premiered the Autumn/Winter 2016 womenswear collection during LFW, and the impact was truly striking.
Pastel pink lace clashed with heavy black leather, and quilting was expertly used to create unique jackets and gowns which almost replicated duvets – a look many people would be happy to see catch on.
Butterflies were abundant on the runway, with large graphic prints of the insects adorning weighty leather coats, some sleeveless. Delicate 3D butterflies and intricate floral prints decorated nude quilted jackets, and sheer silk butterfly printed dresses made regular appearances on the catwalk.
Chiffon sleeves were a popular look for McQueen and were often featured on strapless designs, including the silk pieces and longer, lacy, ruffled dresses.
Elegance was a key look with more sheer dresses being shown, some heavily embellished with crystals and others covered with exquisitely embroidered birds, all equally as graceful.
Along with pieces on the catwalk, the hair of the models was enhanced with crystal roses, stars, charms and silver chains. These accessories amplified the naturally messy hairstyles, creating overstated updos which would otherwise be simple. Minimal make up with understated lips and eyes and only a slight emphasis on contouring created a clean and natural look, which only added to the overall air of elegance given by the whole show.
In contrast, other accessories took a slightly more rebellious turn, with silver chains and badges bedecking the leather jackets along with simple silver. Red and black leather gloves also accompanied the jackets, along with black fur collars and wide sashes.
There were high expectations for Alexander McQueen’s return to London Fashion Week and all eyes were on the new collection, and it is fair to say that this successfully contradicting mixture of themes was far from disappointing.