Alexander McQueen Fall 2012 Review

Alexander McQueen Fall 2012 runway

Photos: Imaxtree

Looks from the Alexander McQueen Fall 2012 runway.

SHOW: Alexander McQueen (See the full collection.)

HAIR: Guido Palau

MAKE-UP: Pat McGrath

ACCESSORIES: Heel-free, towering ankle boots with a froth of feather or fur around the calf, hammered silver belts and mirrored visors

OVERALL TAKEAWAY: Futuristic, fantastic romance courtesy of Sarah Burton

The future is something fashion designers are, understandably, obsessed with—after all, they're presenting collections of clothes that try to predict the mood of consumers in six months' time. Looking forward is what this industry is all about.

Sarah Burton's Alexander McQueen collections, however, have thus far looked back—to an idealized past of crinolined volume and elaborate couture touches, for one, and also to the themes and iconography of Lee Alexander McQueen's work. This time, she was ready to talk about the future in her own terms. Rather than the dystopian vision that colored McQueen's own ideas about the future—melting icecaps, mountains of rubbish and part-women part-cyborg Blade Runner visions—Burton's view seemed more complex and even divided. There was something undeniably beautiful about her clothes, their short, puffed volumes intricately textured with fur, feather and flowers, perched on tip-toes like some re-engineered breed of superhuman. But there was also something menacing about these seeming combinations of flora and fauna. Maybe it was because we weren't entirely sure which way they skewed chromosome-wise—animal, vegetable, or even mineral?

As a visual feast, however, this McQueen show was divine. Colored in soft, pastel shades enlivened with blasts of shocking pink, orange and a daub of black for the truly extraordinary, anti-gravitational organza eveningwear, it was easy to imagine it gracing a Metropolitan Museum retrospective sometime in the future, and example of what one of the greatest creative minds in contemporary fashion was imagining for Fall 2012. The niggling question of who would actually would wear such a hardcore and uncompromising fashion statement was swept to one side. That's vision for you.