Return To Real Life In Alexander McQueen’s Sharp Suits And Breezy Shirtdresses

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Captured by Jamie Hawkesworth, starring Anok Yai, Sora Choi and Jill Kortleve, Alexander McQueen’s autumn/winter 2020 campaign calls for sharp tailoring and romantic poet-sleeves that demand to be seen 

Is it finally time to surrender the laid-back uniform? This is the question we’re asking ourselves after lockdown loungewear transitioned into easy-to-throw-on summer staples and real-life clothes became a forgotten pastime. With the new season on the horizon — and an influx of AW20 campaigns hitting our screens — now seems like an appropriate moment to fall back in love with sculptural silhouettes and razor-sharp looks that can only be worn beyond the four walls. How to stylishly step back into the real world? Look to Sarah Burton’s heroic McQueen woman. 

Showcasing impeccably fitted looks with crisp lines, structured shoulders and clean tailoring, Alexander McQueen’s AW20 collection reveals practical suiting, mixed with a hint of romance courtesy of voluminous skirts and exploding sleeves cut from cotton silk faille. “The collection is a love letter to women and to families, colleagues and friends,” explains Sarah Burton of her latest autumn/winter line. “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.” 

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For inspiration, Burton looked to Wales and “the warmth of its artistic and poetic heritage…its folklore and the soul of its craft.” Photographed against a quintessentially British backdrop (think: a railway line running through a wheat grass field), the AW20 campaign captures a sleek suit with contrasting panels in Prince of Wales checks; a blazer with sculpted heart sleeves in signature Welsh red satin; a fresh spin on the white shirtdress worn beneath a warrior-like black harness; and XXL leather handbags to hold all necessities plus more.

The AW20 collection, and the campaign, is enough to encourage us to relinquish the leggings (unless leather, McQueen-style) and start prepping for the days when the diary is full of back-to-work catch-ups, socially distant birthday dinners and trips to quaint corners of the world. Signalling a fashionable return to (the new) normality.

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