Alexander McQueen A/W 2020 Paris Fashion Week Women’s

Alexander McQueen A/W 2020 Paris Fashion Week Women’s

Mood board: A research trip to Wales informed Sarah Burton’s folkloric and craft-focused collection, designed to embody both female fragility and strength, and featuring sharp, protective tailoring, and ethereal gowns festooned with poetic symbols. A cornflower blue poet sleeve dress with a bow detail at its back, was inspired the romantic muse of a Dylan Thomas poem, a quilted flannel suit, patchworked with doves, a panther, a horse and leeks, was inspired by an allegorical tailor’s quilt at St Fagans National Museum of History, duchess satin suiting was rendered in red, a striking tone believed to possess healing properties, a black tulle dress with swirling jet embroidery, nodded to naturalistic motifs in medieval Welsh tales.

Finishing touches: In Welsh tradition, carved love spoons are presented as a gift of romantic intent, and the earliest dated version from Wales, in the St Fagans National History Museum near Cardiff, is from 1667. They were a romantic, repeated motif in the collection, with 3D love spoons embellished with metal lace work, embroidered on dresses or imagined in delicate lace and tessellated over a leather single-breasted coat.

Best in show: Protection has been a pertinent theme on the A/W 2020 runways, only heightened by the threat of Coronavirus. Burton looked to Welsh shawls in her research process, worn by men and women for warmth and for carrying children, and a series of beautiful bustier dresses were spliced with check blankets. They spoke of both sensuality and shelter. §

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