Alexander McQueen Ready To Wear Fall Winter 2015 Paris

First there was the McQueen invitation, a photo of past-their-prime pink roses, shot by David Sims. Then there was the show’s music, the melodic song “English Rose” by The Jam. Designer Sarah Burton clearly had floral ideas on her mind when she came up with her collection this season. It was a starting point that bloomed into one of her most overtly feminine offerings since she took on the top job at the house.

It was interesting that Burton decided to return to the Conciergerie this season. It is where Alexander McQueen once showed his “Supercalifarilistic” collection that famously featured models walking wolves on the catwalk. But it is also where the designer showed her own “forever seared into the mind” second collection for the brand. Filled with royal ice queen dresses, it had the press buzzing about the crazy idea of Burton possibly designing the future wedding dress for Kate Middleton.

It is also important to note that later this week the “Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty” exhibition will open at the Victoria and Albert Museum. Which might have pushed Burton down a more nostalgic path.

Whatever the case may be, this collection felt softer, relatively user-friendly and decidedly more womanly. Even the Victorian hairstyle looked like puffs of cumulus clouds hovering angelically around the models’ visages.

Up until this collection, the McQueen shows have tended to be so theatrical that it was hard to imagine what, of all the wonders that appeared on the catwalk, would ever really make it into stores. Not so this time. Almost every look showed promise. 

The micro knife-pleated dresses with the bustier tops, the long and lean leather jackets embossed with blooms and a series of frilly tiered lace gowns only needed the buttons running down the front of their bodices to be closed back up and they would be prim and proper – almost ladylike options. Which is not a term usually associated with the McQueen brand.

A few dresses constructed in whorls of fabric looked like rose petals, transformed the garments into ethereal flora. While other long gowns were festooned with expansive flower motif decorations that had an extreme sense of femininity about them.

This was a McQueen show that was very much in touch with its gentler side. It was as if Burton was finally starting to show a different aspect of herself and the house she now leads. It’s a facet worth exploring further in the future.