Alexander McQueen Spring Summer 2024 collection fashion show at Paris Fashion Week SS24 (September 30, 2023).
Sarah Burton's grand finale at Alexander McQueen for Spring Summer 2024 was a visceral celebration of female symbolism—a collection that remained fiercely true to her vision and the enduring values, skills, and beauty she has upheld for an impressive 26 years. In her press statement, Burton eloquently explained the profound inspirations behind this remarkable collection, weaving together elements of female anatomy, the indomitable spirit of Queen Elizabeth I, the symbolism of the blood-red rose, and the powerful legacy of artist Magdalena Abakanowicz, who never compromised her artistic vision.
Burton dedicated the show to the memory of Lee Alexander McQueen, whose unwavering desire was always to empower women, and to the unwavering passion, talent, and loyalty of her own dedicated team. This final offering was, in many ways, her magnum opus—a heartfelt tribute to the brand's history and her own transformative role within it.
A standout piece in the collection was a short black tailored dress, strategically slashed in the bodice and corseted, with a cross-laced back. This design carried a multitude of meanings, paying homage to McQueen's iconic Spring 1996 collection, "The Hunger." While the original slash was surrounded by a sooty print, Burton's version, repeated later with intricate gold embroidery, conveyed a different message altogether. It symbolized not violence, horror, or pain, but rather a sacred celebration of the incredible creative power inherent in the female body.
The theme of female symbolism became even more evident as the collection unfolded. Burton's homage to Britishness, represented by the red rose of England, reached its zenith with a pair of dresses that resembled petals or vulval folds, embracing the concept of womanhood in all its forms. These dresses encapsulated the essence of the collection, merging the strength of leather corsetry with a sense of vulnerability and exposed femininity. This was Burton's indelible mark on the house of McQueen—an emotional and honest farewell that left the audience on their feet, applauding with heartfelt admiration. For a rare moment, Sarah Burton herself made a full circuit of the runway, receiving the accolades and love that she so richly deserves.
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