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Seán McGirr’s controversial debut at Alexander McQueen

The new era of McQueen directed by McGirr elicits equal parts love and hate.

Seán McGirr’s controversial debut at Alexander McQueen

The Irish designer’s AW24 collection has divided the fashion community, polarizing in the same catharsis their feelings and opinions about the beginning of his tenure as creative director of Alexander McQueen, as successor to Sarah Burton.

Seán McGirr now remasters the legacy and archive of the iconic London firm for the new edition of PFW on a runway marked by concrete tracks that nostalgically evoked the road markings of McQueen’s 1995 proposal entitled ‘The Birds’. A collection from which he also took direct inspiration for his opening look, sheathing the model in a surreal compressed latex dress.

Prior to the show, about two weeks before, a preview of this presentation would be screened with a video campaign featuring models in a forest wearing the house’s signature skull masks, once again extracting beauty from horror. From there the McQueen logo was reborn with the ‘C’ inside the ‘Q’.


McGirr’s long-awaited debut became, unexpectedly, a disconcerting nod to the identity of JW Anderson, for whom he worked prior to joining McQueen, and his signature sculptural, exaggerated and voluminous designs.

Beyond that apparent reference, the collection aimed to “reveal the animal within us” through long-haired looks with a life of their own. Meanwhile, the brand’s intrinsic darkness was portrayed in the form of models in sinister denim and semi-hidden face with leather hats. McGirr also wanted to experiment in the same sartorial game with XXL knitwear and circular geometry.

For the start of this new era, the designer also interpreted A.M.’s signature tailoring through embellished blazers and skinny pants, as well as pinstripe ensembles paired with vibrant neon shirts. All of this was draped over asymmetrical coats with rounded shoulders in a collection for FW24 in which crystal-encrusted dresses inspired by broken phone screens shone; but in which the real connection to McQueen’s identity seemed to fade.

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