Alexander McQueen inspired by mycelium for AW22
Alexander McQueen went from the roof of a car park in London to a warehouse in Brooklyn, New York for its latest catwalk to present its autumn/winter 2022 collection inspired by mushrooms and the natural world.
“I am so happy to be back in New York, a city that has always been close to our hearts,” said Sarah Burton, creative director at Alexander McQueen in the show notes. “We showed the Dante collection here in 1996, and then came again with Eye in the autumn of 1999. It is part of our community, a place that has always welcomed us, and this season I want to honour that.”
For SS22, there was a giant fashion bubble, and for AW22, models weaved around large piles of mulch, highlighting how Burton was inspired by “the reality of nature as a community,” specifically mycelium.
“Mycelium connects even the rooftop of the tallest skyscraper to the plants, to the grass, to the ground, to animals and to human beings,” explains Burton. “Mycelium has the most profound, interconnecting power, relaying messages through a magical underground structure, allowing trees to reach out to each other when either they or their young need help or are sick. The idea is humbling – beautiful - and, of course, a metaphor for interconnection and for community between people, between us all.”
Alexander McQueen returns to New York for AW22
While mycelium has become the latest buzzword in fashion, due to the fact the fungus is hailed as a sustainable alternative to leather, there were no such fabrications used in this collection. Instead, Burton was inspired by mycelium’s connection with the world and each other.
Mushrooms were spotted throughout from oversized shredded mohair jumpers with mushroom intarsia to a psychedelic mushroom dress in black fishnet with bright red, acid green and bright yellow crystal, bead and sequin mushroom and mycelium embroidery, and a deconstructed black dress with a bright yellow, engineered mushroom print.
Burton even transformed McQueen’s signature skeleton motifs into crystal embroidered root systems for AW22 and added psychedelic mushroom and sequin mycelium embroidery to the Harness pumps.
The collection also featured the label’s signature tailored suits in black and fluorescent hues, alongside trench coats, ruffled ballgowns, and leather jackets. Some pieces also seemed inspired by past collections, with suits and dresses featuring a print reminiscent of the dress famously spray-painted by robots during Lee McQueen’s Collection No. 13 in 1999.
Burton added: “We exist as single, individual entities on one level, but we are far more powerful connected to each other, to our families, to our friends, to our community. Given everything that has happened over the past two years, that seems more important than ever. As a community we are infinitely more able to restore, reinvent, rejuvenate – heal.”