The Anatomy of Design: Alexander McQueen FW23

All the anatomies, with the exception of Grey’s.


Paris Fashion Week saw the debut of Alexander McQueen's FW23 Collection. Drawing inspiration from the concept of 'anatomy,' the collection saw impressive tailoring and a breathtaking spin put on everyday clothing.

With Naomi Campbell opening the show, it began with sleek and understated eveningwear silhouettes. Looks such as #6 and #8 saw 1980's Armani influences with the power shoulders on floor-length blazer dresses, combining both masculine and feminine. Looks #9 and #12 bring different silhouettes but continue to enhance the body in ways that are neither masculine nor feminine. The trench coat features several times, and the use of different colors and materials brings a new edge to a garment known and loved for years. Looks such as #14 use a feminine silhouette to make the coat almost dress-like, but the suit and tie underneath ties it back to masculine roots; the combination of stereotypes laid on the body ties the question skilfully and tastefully back to 'how much does our anatomy really matter?'

Looks #30, #34, #36, and #41 incorporate a slashing detail which McQueen has become known for. The mutilation of these garments in this way enhances the shape of the garment while adding a detail that makes the garment different in the most McQueen way possible. Furthermore, the use of leather in looks that could be considered both masculine and feminine adds a gothic and punk edge to the garments, all while providing a stunning array of silhouettes. Looks #40, #42, and #44 feature the use of leather in intentionally feminine silhouettes and shapes. #44 features a silk trumpet skirt out from a leather corset with zipper detailing. Combinations like this keep the collection fresh and exciting, all while blurring the lines of gender.

Throughout the collection, color mainly remains dark. However, the odd white or silver look adds a touch of bright glamour to the beautifully moody collection. Black with tones of red and crimson feature heavily and work in glorious harmony, such as in Look #48. One enhances the other to give the look a dark and sinister feel. The art here is making this villain-esque color palette glamourous, which this collection does marvelously. The standout look is the final one. Look #55 features a classic mermaid silhouette in a mysterious, dark purple. The shoulder detailing appears almost wing-like, the eyes are immediately drawn to the garment's shape.

To top it all off, a beautiful gold necklace contrasts wonderfully with the deep hues of the garment itself. This necklace falls exactly where the heart is in the human body. What could this mean? The interpretation is open. What's not up for interpretation is the perfection offered here by this collection. A complete schooling on all things masculine, feminine, punk, glamour, and sophistication. This was a knockout.

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