Alexander McQueen FW23 "Autonomy" Was Romantically Dark and Dramatic

Sarah Burton worked with, and at, Lee Alexander McQueen‘s eponymous House since 2000, eventually becoming the brand’s Creative Director in 2010 following McQueen’s passing. It’s this that often plays in one’s subconscious; an internal knowing that Burton isn’t just the only person for the job, but so beautifully delicate at communicating the McQueen legacy with pride. Fittingly, Fall/Winter 2023‘s “Autonomy” collection was yet another example of how McQueen’s dramatic presence can be implicated season after season, and this time around it culminated around the study of tailoring — a signature of Lee and the brand.

Presented this weekend as part of Paris Fashion Week, “Autonomy” was neat, tidy, and structured, but ultimately, extraordinarily beautiful. Men’s and womenswear shared values throughout, with looks providing an air of power and sophistication underpinned with sensuality, the latter referenced with the addition of the flower of love, the orchid.

Opening with none other than Naomi Campbell, the supermodel’s prowess carried a classic little black dress with a scalloped chest, her ear carrying one statement earring. The humble yet impactful look was followed up by an array of tailoring — suits were complete with wide shoulders, double-breasted blazer dresses hugged the body, and trousers went past the nipples with a leather tie and satin white shirt tucked into the top.

Among the standouts of the collection, we found a purple leather belted trench coat that felt romantically dark, a light gray tailored boiler suit that elongated and sharpened the wearer’s proportions, and the introduction of orchid motifs and prints on various statement outerwear looks, influenced by Lee Alexander McQueen’s work in abundance.

Later, the collection grew into something more conceptual. The rear of jackets was cut out to reveal soft shapes opening up to bare skin, while knitwear formed to the shape of the body while also portraying the natural folds and contours of flowers. Growing and evolving, “Autonomy” presented other knitwear akin to rib cages, encrusted lamé dresses, dominating leather looks, and plenty more that all fell well within the realms of Lee Alexander McQueen’s own work — studying the contrast between beauty and horror, love and sorrow, and presenting a collection that was dramatic in all senses of the word.

Take a look at Alexander McQueen FW23 “Autonomy” in the gallery above, and find more Paris Fashion Week FW23 content across Hypebeast.

In case you missed it, check out Demna’s reimagined look for Balenciaga.
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