McQueen; ‘She is a night creature inhabiting a charmed and Surreal world’

There are three things I thought when I watched Alexander McQueen’s Fall 2016 show:

  • feminine
  • mystical
  • transformation


I actually really liked this collection although it doesn’t scream ‘dark’ McQueen, it still captures a particular strand of Gothic feeling, albeit in a lighter, almost hopeful tone.


Sarah Burton was notably expecting her third child as this collection walked, and I think the themes of birth-rebirth-transformation are really evident here.  The coat (first image below)literally cocoons the model as she walks, and although the texture of her outer-garment drowns her frame, the cascading ‘tail’ of a more much form-fitting dress reveals a glimpse of underneath.  The coat then becomes an enactment of a much darker prompt, not look at, but rather look beneath…


Above are just a handful of my favourite looks from this collection- in case you wanted to have a look yourselves!

I enjoyed how the skin felt like it had been manipulated throughout this collection.  From the wholly sheer looks that overlay the skin with intricate designs and use the model as it’s canvas; the many cut away lines then expose and conceal the skin in deliberate patterns.  The models are literally spliced and transformed by their garments.

The collection also featured embellishments of unicorns, moths, owls, swans, eyes and mirrors.  Darkly feminine, it is not a stretch to feel the ‘witchy’ nature possessing these clothes.  There women are adorned and embodied by symbols of nature and beauty.  These images are at times set upon ‘powerful’ cuts of impeccably tailors suits, corsets and even bondage trousers – providing a softer contrast to the lingerie and ‘bed-time’ looks- whilst also notably nodding to McQueen’s most infamous designs.

Personally if witches, darkness, transformation and the visual battle between inside/outside (surface/depth) isn’t Gothic enough, then this collection may miss your mark.  Gothic for me, in terms of fashion, doesn’t have to be overtly threatening or uneasy – rather I think this collection is more ‘Gothicised’ by its consumption of itself.  This collection draws the eye continually to the surface, to the excessive embellishment (which itself is an overt parody of the ‘dark night’) whilst revealing LOTS underneath.  Unease is hinted at from the shape of the fabric; swallowing, draping, cutting, consuming the model.


I found it coincidental that last week I received a copy of the latest ASOS magazines with ‘Making Magic’ upon the front cover.  Upon closer inspection this edition also provides an article on ‘Modern Magic’ which details how the mystical is becoming more mainstream and ‘crystals are cool’.  Furthermore you could read on how to ‘max your moon power’ and discover the benefits of making a vision board (I really liked this idea, being a massive Pinterest fan and serial mood-boarder).

So, you can take this post as a celebration of the apparent cosmic alignment of all things Witchy this Spring.  Go forth and wear beautiful clothes and make happy visions- maybe even buy a cat?



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