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McQueen's Welsh Poetic Folklore


The in-depth research behind any collection by Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen is, without a doubt, one of the most personal and precise processes that spurs the designer to study the subject of the season and could become a topic taught in schools. For Fall-Winter 2020, she dissected Welsh traditional culture, costumes and crafts. "I wanted to imagine a woman which feels heroic, bold and grounded to heart," sheexplained before the show. “I wanted to send a kind of love letter to each other to encourage to protect instead of spread anger and generate hate." Mostly unknown, Welsh costume contains aesthetic surprises that Burton studied and reinterpreted. The quilting techniques are iconic and she repurposed them for the tailored jackets and coats. The cut-out pleated old paper love letters pattern has been turned into dégradé jacquards in the same fabric but with different textures, from stiff to soft, in order to have a simpler but still constructed silhouettes. The layering of the diverse patterns is also a Welsh trait that the designer split and used for different outfits – checks were reminiscent of aprons of the late XIX and early XX Century, just as the striped wool suits were. "I was enchanted by the love spoons that was the bond of a relationship among two people," said the designer. “It was carved from one piece of wood and I turned into a lacework that I applied to leather coats and dresses or as decorative details." Burton evolved her aesthetic formula and delivered a collection with her strong DNA but different in the silhouette – something that was stuck in her clichè – uplifting it and keeping it simpler yet newer.

The sinuosity of Russian-born French designer and illustrator Erté figurines inspired the oversized Stella McCartney's 80s looks. The co-ed collection translated the artistic vision into ready-to-wear forms that showed two different silhouettes, the sculptural lines of the constructions with wide shoulders and the panelled wool or silk composé, printed dresses or perforated animal-free vegan leather dresses. The pattern used in this collection included exclusive and never-before-used fashion prints from the artist's archives. The looks for both men and women were essential with very few other embellishments, apart from the outfits and the palette incorporated very terrestrial tones, from clay to sand and charcoal with touches of lilac and ginger. The McCartney aesthetic language, even if a bit repetitive, is interesting because she is the only designer that embraced the real sustainable process that combines constant research on materials to an appealing design with a contemporary look, despite the fact that most brands are still exploring this territory. Often, the creative minds involved in the sustainable world convey the message, forgetting the packaging that, in today's world, has to carry the same importance in order to be more impactful.

A sophisticated lady whose wardrobe has been redesigned in a new 3-dimensional form, this is Chitose Abe's new vision for Sacai fall-winter collection 2020. Keeping the signature silhouette that melds different items in one, this season her woman looked more grown-up and ladylike. Traditional men's suits looked inflated with chiffon and became a flowing dress, as did the tuxedo that turned into an evening gown. The Prince of Wales texture was printed on silk or the fabric itself in the form of masculine coat merged into a thick satin prom dress for a new evening shape. The high pointed boots injected strong energy into the look which, on the other hand, was highly bourgeoise with the jewellery that mixed golden chains in different sizes and pearl necklaces. The must-have item was the prosthetic design herring with ear-buds shaped and mixed with a decorative golden chain. The Japanese designer enlightened her aesthetic without losing an inch of her identity and delivered a classy and very feminine collection that moved forward to a new aesthetic still very Sacai.

"I wanted to elevate my woman, let her grow and become more sophisticated," explained Y/Project's Glenn Martens.“I didn't want to disavow my twisted aesthetic language linked to the street culture but sometimes I feel that it's important to explore different fields." In fact, this season's woman had a ladylike look but interestingly twisted with Martens' signature constructions. "I spanned from many different references from different ages, from the beginning of the XX century madames to contemporary kids." The infamous constructions ability of the designer delivered an interesting clash of shapes which was very interesting in the ritzy looks. Clean-cut men's suits mixed with his signature V-cut crotchless pants looked striking as was the checked jacket with the bulbous shaped skirt.

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