Steven Meisel Shoots a Current Models Who’s Who For Alexander McQueen
If you were in London back then, the ’90s were an absolute riot. Of course, no one represented that sense of anything-is-possible during that time in fashion as did Alexander McQueen. So it seems perfect timing after two years of being so under the cosh due to COVID surges and restrictions, that the British fashion house would create something that harkens back to those days when “freedom” and “possibility” were the only constant watchwords.
And so it is that for the McQueen Spring/Summer 2022 collection Steven Meisel – who was responsible for so many iconic ’90s images – has delivered a campaign that has us nostalgic for the glory days of magazines like i-D and The Face. Shot in a very retro black & white style, for proper effect the “Kodak” stamp was even left visible on the outer edge of each image.
The campaign stars a veritable who’s who of new generation models, Fran Summers, Modupe Oluwalade, Sora Choi, Florence Nicholls, Guinevere Van Seenus, Awar Odhiang, Lucia Fairfull, Celina Ralph, Anok Yai, Arta Gee, Lara Stone, Eny Jaki, Wali Deutsch, Jill Kortleve, Cassie Wong, Achenrin Madit and Jennifer Ball. But we most definitely found ourselves picturing Kate, Claudia and Christy striking these very same poses. (We can’t help but think of Ms. Summers as kind of a new Kate Moss).
The collection itself – from double-breasted tailored jackets and coats to off-the-shoulder skeletal corset dresses to trompe l’oeil strapless bustier pencil dresses – was inspired by, of all things, the very skies themselves, with images of the London skyline (all shot from the rooftop of McQueen’s new Clerkenwell headquarters) actually imprinted on some of the garments. The Spring/Summer 2022 Womenswear show even took place at the top of the Yellow Park of the Tobacco Dock event space in Wapping, inside of a futuristic looking bubble, with the sky as a fittingly dramatic backdrop.
“The artwork for the prints in this collection was shot from the rooftops of the studio where we are lucky enough to have the most incredible views of the city,” Creative Director Sarah Burton enthuses, “from Saint Paul’s Cathedral to the London Eye. We watched the weather and captured the formation and coloration of clouds from daybreak to nightfall and documented changing patterns, from clear blue skies to more turbulent ones.”
Hardly surprisingly, she sees the ideal McQueen woman in ’22 as being something of a storm chaser, a vocation generally associated with a sense of fearlessness and adventurousness.
“They inhabit the same universe and the clothes are inspired by and made for them. Storm chasing is not only about the beauty of the views but also a sense of mystery and excitement – about embracing the fact that we can’t ever be sure of what might happen next. To give up control and be directly in touch with the unpredictable is to be part of nature, to see and feel it at its most intense – to be at one with a world that is bigger and more powerful than we are.”
That is definitely our plan for 2022.