For the house’s Autumn/Winter 2022 pre-collection, 12 women artists working across the mediums of ceramics, photography, painting and sculpture responded to the clothes in unexpected, emotional ways
Sarah Burton is a designer that loves to blur the boundaries between fashion and art – whether it be a fantastical youth photography project with young girls in Wales, an arts education scheme for young east Londoners or a mucky, haunting fashion film lensed by none other than Under the Skin director Jonathan Glazer. As creative director of Alexander McQueen, Burton’s latest artistic venture is Process – an exhibition in the brand’s Old Bond Street store, which sees 12 women artists interpret and reimagine individual looks from the Autumn/Winter 2022 pre-collection through their own artistic lens. Alongside this, the brand has also released an 160-page zine depicting the artworks in finer detail, alongside slick lookbook images of the garments themselves.
Artists working across the mediums of ceramics, photography, painting and sculpture provided an array of responses to the clothes that are at turns political, humorous and emotional. American model and photographer Guinevere van Seenus (a frequent runway and campaign model for the house) created a dizzying series of black-and-white polaroids in which she wears a crushed silver polyfaille corset dress, with fairy lights wrung around her head like a mask. “This desire to be gorgeous and beautiful but also kick ass at the same time … that, to me, has been a lot of the McQueen women,” says van Seenus in an accompanying short film. “It’s almost this type of superhero that I would want to be.”
Elsewhere, Chilean artist Marcela Correa created a set of amorphous, unsettling sculptures in yellow dresses, Brazilian artist Cristina de Middel settled on a stop-motion animation commenting on the new frontier of domesticity and femininity, and Chinese artist Bingyi designed a wedding dress that is meant to fall away in pieces like a waterfall as its wearer walks down the aisle. American painter Hope Gangloff opted to paint her cat-loving artist neighbour Caitlin MacQueen in vibrant colours, alongside a still life of McQueen’s pearl head cage propped up by her kitchen sink. “I want to paint everything,” she says. ”I want to be here for as long as possible on planet earth ... paint everything all the time.”
The Process artworks are on display at Alexander McQueen’s London flagship store, at 27 Old Bond Street.