Alexander McQueen Debuts a New Menswear Collection at the Barbican

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Alexander McQueen Pre-Spring/Summer 2023 Menswear
Alexander McQueen Pre-Spring/Summer 2023 MenswearCourtesy of Alexander McQueen

The house’s refined new Pre-Spring/Summer 2023 menswear collection takes inspiration from the healing power of nettles

Alexander McQueen’s new lookbook and film for Pre-Spring/Summer 2023 menswear bend the codes of the British label in an exploration of new silhouettes and tailoring. The brand’s forays into the art world have become more frequent, with collections shown during Frieze week and their recent S/S23 womenswear collection referencing the Dutch master Hieronymus Bosch. Now, McQueen takes us into the austere, brutalist complex of London’s Barbican Centre to showcase a collection that explores the old and new, the raw and refined – notions which are central to the brand’s spirit.

In Alexander McQueen menswear’s signature nod to kink, harnesses detail utilitarian washed denim pieces which come perforated with silver metal eyelets, also seen tracing the edge of shirting and along trouser hems. Nettles are a recurring motif that thread through the collection, a further observation of creative director Sarah Burton’s fascination with nature and healing plants, which embroider carefully cut trench coats, embellish jackets, and detail cotton jersey T-shirts. Graffiti prints are reimagined as colourful watercolours in a bold subversion of urban streetwear, while elsewhere a muted colour palette is applied to tailoring, offering a softer, romantic edge to its sharp, precise lines. 

At the helm of a closely guarded legacy, Burton’s reinventions of the groundwork left by Lee Alexander McQueen welcome a new, pure and precise vision of British style. A mere 15-minute walk away from St Paul’s Cathedral – where a memorial service for the house’s founder took place in 2010 – the Barbican Centre speaks to the grounding reality of London – the home of a sensitive, awe-inspiring label that values craft and community. “Lee was born in London and the city is so integral to what the house is about that it felt like the right place to be,” Burton told AnOther last year. “It has such spirit.”