Red. A ruby sheen from tailored suiting. An exaggerated scarlet pop on the rippled sleeves of a blazer – like the venomous warning on a frilled lizard. Imbuing a fairytale dress like a painterly tapestry. Even streaking models hair with a punk edge. Red was very much at the top of the agenda for Sarah Burton and this season’s Alexander McQueen outing.
But look a little closer, and the inspiration behind the AW20 collection gained historical and geographical texture. Otters, butterflies, crows and lambs feature on the side of a suit here, or the floor-sweeping hem of a dress there – all inspired by Welsh folklore.
“The collection is a love letter to women and to families, colleagues and friends,” explains Burton. “We went to Wales and were inspired by the warmth of its artistic and poetic heritage, by its folklore and the soul of its craft. The woman is courageous, grounded, bold: heroic. There is a sense of protection in the clothes, of safety and comfort, evoked through quilting and blankets. The hearts are a symbol of togetherness, of being there for others.”
Burton implores us to be “bold” and “courageous” this season. And with this collection at our fingertips, it’s not such an impossible feat.