You can expect great things from Alexander McQueen's Spring 2012 collection. After the late Alexander McQueen's suicide in 2010, Sarah Burton took over as the head designer. In an interview with Vogue, Ms. Burton pledged to make this upcoming season one to remember by bringing the soft light and alluring touch of femininity to Alexander McQueen's line. Arguably, the largest challenge Ms. Burton faces is to remain true to McQueen's sense of style in convergence with her own. Whether Ms. Burton is accurately displaying what McQueen would have done or not is out of the question, simply because Ms. Burton is too busy blowing us out of the water. Here's what to expect from Alexander McQueen's Spring 2012 Men and Women's collections.
As is always the case with anything styled after McQueen's tastes, notably tailored suits colored, or rather, patterned the runway. Ms. Burton seems to be peevishly playing with pattern combinations, in a post-modern take on the plaid suit, perhaps. All trousers had a remarkable flare to them. In one case, thick vertical black and white stripes, another showcased sequined loose fitting material, and another was made to look like the delicate gold leaf. All were tailored beautifully to show the masculinity of the trousers that rested just above the ankle.
With any spring or fall collection comes an array of classic jackets and blazers. There was the classic straight line leather jacket, the khaki trench coat, and a somewhat shrunken blazer. However, in this collection, there were a few extraordinary styles. For instance, the third piece on his runway show seemed to mock the 1970s version of a baseball jacket, though, minus the numbers and sewn on patches. This stunning piece was checkered like the beginning pieces with a striking silver zipper and black cuffs. Surely a looker for either gender.
The under layers are usually what we see in stores. What that means is that the tank that is tucked under the buttoned blazer or the collared shirt underneath the sweater will be hanging on the racks for you to purchase. These, too, seemed to have a feminine elegance to them. With wide necked knit sweaters fitting tightly across the models' chests, it seems Ms. Burton's intention to show the audience the elegance of a masculine neckline.
In this line, Sarah Burton shines best according to fashion reviewers. A few of the opening color palates remind one of last season's accents of rich browns with tints of green and deep golden patterns are paired to form an earthy look. Patterned suits, though their subtle presence is certainly felt, do not dominate the line for women this upcoming spring season. It is the shape of the suit that seems to stand out most.
A common thread through all the pieces is the synched waist with a wide piece of fabric or a glamorous belt. This accentuation of the female silhouette can be attributed to Ms. Burton's influence. Additionally, keep an eye out for uni-sex clothing items, such as things like straight-legged trousers, slouched trench coats, and silk ties that give a dynamic touch to the outfit. The oversized dress coat seems to appear most often, framing the white chamois below it and thinning the waistline further.
The formal dresses are going to be absolutely riveting. There is a rich golden tint to all of the dresses shown, giving a sense of opulence to each wearer. Most of the dresses fall in a relaxed mermaid style, again focusing the viewer's attention on the silhouette of the wearer. The shoes, as always are spectacular. Most are heeled, open-toed, and held by a thin strap just above the ankle line. Elegance and extravagance are matched with functionality and utility.
What is wonderful about the women's line for Spring 2012 is the utility of the pieces. All are stunningly beautiful, but only tinker on the edge of irrational. And, with the new addition of cotton, the pieces are user-friendly and applicable to most situations. After being asked by style columnist Tim Blanks about her use of the new material, Sarah Burton replied, "Cotton makes it real." In a very Alexander McQueen style, the pieces displayed for Spring 2012 will be both extraordinary and meant for "real" women.