Alexander McQueen Fall 2012 Collection

Posted on March 08, 2012

This time around, Sarah Burton’s idea was to present a soft vision of the future instead of the harsh, cold future people tend to embrace more readily. The result is an organic explosion of feathers and fur meeting futurism. It’s all exaggerated and over the top in a way one would expect, and yet there’s something poetic and whimsical about these looks, like fairy tales of the future. It’ll be interesting to see which ladystars will have the ovaries to try any of these looks on the red carpet. Aside from Lady Gaga, of course.

LOVE the belts.



[Photo Credit: Getty]

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  • The word of the day is: phoufy!

    • I said “Froufy!” out loud when I saw these, does that count?

      • Too many of the models look like they’re wearing dust mops, unfortunately.  
        Or maybe I just don’t appreciate high fashion!

        • High priced Swiffer commercial if you ask me.

  • Gorgeous! This may be a dumb question but is Sarah Burton related to Tim Burton?

    • I’ve never seen their names linked.  He was born in 1958; she was born in 1974. And she was born in Cheshire, England, while he was born in Santa Barbara, CA.  Doesn’t mean they aren’t related, but I haven’t seen a connection.

      • TIM BURTON IS AMERICAN?!?!?!? You, sir, just blew my mind.

        • Hey, I didn’t know it either.  I just thought it was a good question if he and Sarah were related and went to IMDB to check.  It says he was raised in Burbank, CA.

          • Yup, Tim Burton is from the freakin Valley.  The bad one, not the good one.  The one that harbors horrible cities like Van Nuys and Encino.  That’s why he’s obsessed with dark humour and the like.  The Valley is a destitute place full of despair and the occasional tv studio.

          • JosephLamour

            Haha despair and tv studios. The two things that came to mind when I saw this was The Hunger Games and Katie Price. You decide which one of mine is despair.

      • Thanks for looking that up! I just had this vision of him being her father and them growing up in a house that looks like something from Dr. Seuss’ nightmares.

  • And Christian Siriano gets rakes over the coals if he goes this big by fashionistas.

    •  EXACTLY!!!! Princess Puffysleeves is just ahead of his time.

    • prettybigkitty

      Christian Siriano is no Lee McQueen.  

  • first time commenter, but I had to comment. i never really understood mcqueen or his appeal until i started reading TLo, esp. the Spring 2012 collection. this one, like that one, is so remarkable that i gasped. totally amazing.

    • Stefanos Mantyla

       Similar thing happened with me, but after he died; then I started totally seeing it.

      • I still question it sometimes.  The stuff is gorgeous, don’t get me wrong — but so much is not wearable.  If it’s not wearable, I consider it “art” rather than “fashion”. 

        • totally agree with you on that. it’s definitely more of an art to me, and now that i think of it that way, it’s the main reason i think so highly of it. 

          • Lochery

             It’s also, at times, veering towards woman-hating, in my opinion. Beautiful, but misogynistic.

          • JimMcC

            I don’t know that I understand the view of the McQueen aesthetic as woman hating. For me, the clothes do often conceal the person beneath, making them nothing more than a vehicle for extravagance. And while I see how that could be seen as objectifying the wearer, doesn’t the larger goal of using that person as a means to depict true beauty counteract that?

            Which may just be to say that if someone were to give me the bottom left dress, I would become a drag queen just to pull off wearing it every day. Every. Day.

        • Glammie

          Depends on the piece–the big showy pieces are a challenge for non-models–but I have a McQueen jacket and it’s striking, *beautifully* made and wearable–well, wearable when I’m at my thin weight.  McQueen had magnificent tailoring skills–so, yes, he did all this clothing-as-art pieces, but he also made some great clothes as clothes.  

          I assume Sarah Burton does something similar.

    • twocee

       I’m exactly the same way.  I didn’t really “get” a lot of the top designers until I started reading TLo and learned to appreciate the artistry.  I’m definitely NOT a fashionista (my preferred outfit is a pair of hiking boots, jeans, and a T-shirt), but I can at least understand the love now.

  • susan6

    How does anybody walk in those shoes?  Are you basically on tiptoe all day, or is there some sort of virtual support for your heel?  

    • Elizabeth Davis

      I was just wondering that myself. As someone who LOVES wearing heels (I just spent the day teetering in a pair of 5-inch stilettos at the office) even I can’t see how walking is possible in these shoes.

    • Sara__B

      I was really surprised to see models walking easily in these shoes.

      • Diane_G

        It seems like they make the front part of the shoe extra heavy to balance out the lack of heel. Like they just let their feet fall front-first, since they are walking as per usual stride.

        • Derek_anny

          Think it has more to do with that bit that juts back from the ball of the foot.  That would bring the… horizontal center of gravity, back and getting the tension spread out over more of the foot/shoe.  It would also act as an imitation of a strong ankle, allowing easier walking on toes.  Like a cat.

    • Derek_anny

       I’ve been expecting these shoes for a couple years now.

      • kentiesgirl

         I *thought* it’s already been done, recently, but for the life of me I can’t remember where I saw it or who the designer was.

  • Jasmine Moten

    I shall wear every thing in this collection and be the fiercest thing in Alabama.

    • May I claim Texas then?

  • Lochery

    I dunno. The earlier pieces are interesting, but she looses me with the gowns.

  • Louise Bryan

    Too much clothing for a hot planet.  Foofey.

  • I.DIE. It’s a beautiful collection! Love the shoes!

    • ballerinawithagun

      Horrible shoes! Did anyone fall down wearing these? They look great from the front but no heels??? Love the first white pieces.

    • You might die wearing those shoes.  And the dark glasses won’t help either – you’ll never see the crack in the sidewalk that is going to be your end.

  • How many animals died for this?

  • serenitynow02

    I’m not a big McQueen fan and I find this collection especially unappealing. All I see, for the most part, are fancy feather dusters that hide the woman underneath.

  • belfebe

    Gorgeous.  But not meant to be worn by actual human beings.  I see this stuff in two places a) Editorials, and b) Worst dressed lists.  And Lady Gaga, of course, who will make any of these look great.

  • I just glad the McQueen aesthetic did not die with him.

  • Jen Freeman

    the heel-less shoes always end up looking like horse hooves to me. 

    Clip clop clip clop.

  • greyhoundgirl

    She loses me with the torture devices on the feet.  Hard to support the collection when she does that to women.

  • TropiCarla

    They are getting more and more creative with those designer dog breeds aren’t they? 😉

    I seriously can’t shake the visual comparison to those impeccably groomed poodles that show at Westminster and the like.

    • kimmeister

      I felt like I was being assaulted by poodles, then Chewbacca, then sea anemones.

  • Confectionery.  This is definitely a much softer collection, some of those pieces look downright huggable.  I can’t say anything absolutely captivates me.

    Sadly, I think we’re only going to see people attempting the first two rows and semi-transparent garments.  Except Katy Perry, who I think will go for those loofah-poof-shoes.

    • pattyw

      Confectionery. Yes, exactly the word. 

  • Pupioso

    Okay this is a nice show and I actually can appreciate the pieces here. I like the colors. My only criticism is the looks are all very much alike, but I can hang with that. I actually don’t mind the shoes. These are show pieces after all and they fit with the whole concept. The faceplates? LOL. That I don’t get.

  • introspective

    beautiful. lurv the belts for real. all that frouf needs a good waist cinch so that hits a perfect note. the shoes are problematic though visually interesting. theyre clearly not made for my commute on the nyc subway.

  • JMansm

    I wish there was a broader colour story but I like it. I am dying for that final look. Someone needs to wear it soon. 

  • Love it.  And I hope the first and second rows get transformed into something more subdued that we can see Cathy Cambridge, duchess of coats in.

    • I wonder how Cathy’s grandmum-in-law, Betty, and stepmum-in-law, Camilla, would feel about being photographed standing next to Cathy wearing ANY of these…  Wouldn’t the palace PR flacks excrete bricks trying explain that pic to the anti-monarchists in the UK!

  • rainwood1

    It’s poodle wear!

  • I am not embarrassed to admit that I just don’t get it.

    • fiestyfashionfem

      Seriously! Me either.  It is all so, so muppet couture.

    • TonyGo

       I’m with you.  Hairy feathery ruffly overdesigned explosion.  No me gusta.

  • gabbilevy

    I’m not seeing most of these as red carpet wear, but I’m drooling in anticipation of the editorials. Gorge.

  • mjude


  • Stephen Bornstein

    Big Bird Couture……

  • meowing

    Sorry, guys, but I cleaned the house today, and all I see here are more fluffy dust mops.

  • Lilithcat

    Belts are pretty clearly based on the Cretan labrys.

  • marilyn

    The designer must be somewhere laughing.  2 wearable dresses, 2 wearable coats, and a bunch of fluff in sunglasses.   Are those red poufy things house slippers?  What a freak show.

  • BeeBeauNYC

    I’d put these in the “fuckinfantastica” category. 

  • Judy_J

    Swiffer dusters.

  • fiestyfashionfem

    I feel like a loser when I read your comments.  I just don’t get it.  I see it is all intricate and there is lace/fur/hair/ruffles, which I’m sure is expensive and time consuming and precious.  And I know it isn’t really something people are supposed to wear – its art.  But all I see are muppets and Sesame Street characters.  Help me understand, TLo and UPFs.

  • Call me Bee

    Really a fantasy.  So much fun.  (Except for the goofy shoes…) 

  • hughman

    Not cheap! Who could afford the down payment?

  • Corinna Kimball

    The proportions of the lace dresses really recall the armadillo shoes.

  • lizajane1776

    The only thing I like here is Fourth Row, Left. But only in a Seussian way.
    Taking size negative two people and making them look my size just doesn’t make sense.

  • Daenyx

    I normally love McQueen, but I’m rather less than enamored with this.  The round, “I’m a giant puffball” dresses just aren’t very interesting to me.  I do love the white one on the far right of the fifth row down, though.  

  • TieDye64

    I love fashion fantasy. Or is that fantasy fashion?

  • poggi

    The first two looks made me think of Irish step dancers, obviously with a penchant for fur and visors.

  • Judih1

    the first few outfits look like the ostrich outfit Bjork wore at the Oscars. hideous!

  • TheDivineMissAnn

    Those shoes were on a Seinfeld episode one year.  Kramer had a tennis shoe version and was mistaken for a person with a disability.

  • More ugly shoes.  I guess I’m just going to have to get used to it.

  • 2nd row L:  Cate Blanchett, natch.

  • ASK26

    I want to be able to wear some of these  (of course with no waist my puff ball whould be puffier…

    I can see Charlize in rows 3 and 4 

    HATE the shoes – look like devices to make women immobile

  • Kyle Crawford

    Not to be in any way bitchy, seriously, but IT’S McQUEEN – It is supposed to be over the top ” muppety” or what ever. There is plenty of room for this in the fashion Pantheon. If you want scaled down, look at the BEAUTIFUL Donna Karan or very unmuppety Prada that just came down this week. ( acid-y yes, Muppet-y no ) I love this and so happy that Sarah Burton is keeping the line ” out there”. My question is the pink FLUFF a dress or a coat ?

    • Kyle Crawford

      Lets all of the Tlo Nation start a fund to get ELizabeth Olsen in the red, row 7, dress 1……

  • holdmewhileimnaked

    she’s good, these are interesting, the colors especially–but he was better. a lot.

  • inprovo

    Dustbunnies on parade!

  • I can’t help but LOVE that giant white gown.

  • scarlet1815

    The lilac dresses in Row 6 and the hotpink/reddish one on the left of Row 7 look like some gorgeous undersea creatures detached from their coral reef and floated to the surface, and Burton just zhuzhed them a bit and sent them down the runway.

    This is not a criticism in any way, shape or form. GORGEOUSNESS.

  • I love McQueen. This is no exception! Beautiful.

  • BigWhiteGrannyPanties

    hmmm.  if you put a stick coming out of their heads, you could totally dust your blinds with them.

  • Lindsay Lyon

    I just got some baby Silkie chickens the other day, so I may be a bit influenced by their fluffy cuteness. But I’m pretty sure that if I wore the fourth row on the right they’d up and call me ‘Momma.’   

  • Melanie S.

    Man, I love the pale lavender one that looks kind of like a big circle (6th row left). Not sure about some of the others, but that one is gorgeous.

  • somewhere around halfway through the dresses started reminding me of vaginas. i don’t…think that’s a bad thing?

  • I love those fur boots!!!

  • Kate Middleton in the pink (bottom line at the left). Amirite?

    Probs not.

  • nancylee61

    If this is real fur, shame on them. Disgusting. We can’t even begin to count how many animals died for these. Yeech.


    I don’t know how those people managed to stay put and not run to hug a model. Stunning and tactile.

    • That was my thought exactly! To use the models as resting devices.

  • sleepycat

    Absolutely LOVE this collection. I <3 McQueen

  • michelle shields

    Fraggle Rock anyone? Not digging this one 🙁

  • Amy Ellinger

    In motion, they were even more stunning. My word, Burton is doing a bang-up job of continuing the McQueen traditions and aesthestics.

    Honestly, not as gasp-inducing as the others, but in motion, its beyond.  And I want those white coats. All of them.

  • poketom

    I loved this collection, I thought it was very Alexander McQueen without being a remake of things he’s already done, which is how I’ve kinda felt about the past collections Burton has done for the label. Not that this was a bad thing in the past few seasons, but it’s nice to see a departure of sorts. 

    That last look is outrageously stunning. 

  • MilaXX

    I could see maybe Katy Perry trying the 3rd one top row and another starlet attempting the first one 5th row, otherwise, no, these are all editorial or for Gaga only.

  • AthenaJ

    Squee!! The model in the 1st pic 4th row down has tribbles all over her!

  • I’m waiting for 5th Element music to start playing… Where’s Ruby Rhod?

  • I know so little about the fashion world, but I’m assuming that’s all fake fur, right? Otherwise, anyone who wears those will have a bucket of blood on them, courtesy of PETA.

  • no video? 🙁 Love to see these move…

  • Susan Crawford

    This is an incredible, visionary collection. Honestly, the only person I could see wearing this collection is Daphne Guinness. And somewhere in fashion heaven, Issy Blow is probably floating around in these pieces.

  • …I really hate this. I can’t even. It just looks ridiculous to me.

  • DeborahLipp

    These looks are really accessible. I bet Ann Hathaway goes there.

  • miwome

    Paging Zoë Saldana. LOVE THIS.

  • Vickiefantastico

    Whimsical and beautiful. I love the lavender oyster with a pearl dress, sixth row down. I keep scrolling back to that one!

  • judybrowni

    Sure, I could see lady Gaga in any of these.

    But the long gowns also look like toilet paper cover dolls.

  • Elana Friedman

    The collection makes me think of the hunger games- clothes they would wear in the Capitol of Panem!!

    • haven’t even read those and even I thought that!

  • quiltrx

    Mostly too hairy for my taste.

    And HAIRY HOOF SHOES?  WAY too literal, and just weird.

    I imagine the only looks that will really ‘go’ are the few that don’t make the model look as big as a house.

  • PeaceBang

    Who was that French maid feather duster character from “Beauty And the Beast?” These are costumes for her. Some gorgeous pieces but the sloping line of the shoulders on so many of them, terminating in floppy sleeves, makes me feel like I’m watching a lot of dog ears come down the runway. Strange. 

  • annebrad

    Outrageously, over the top beautiful. I love it, and if I had all the money and extra ovaries to spare, I would totally wear it.

  • lalahartma

    Expressly for Gaga.

  • Man, I WISH I could pull those coats off.  If I could, I’d wear them everyday.  But I’m pretty sure you’d have to take a class to learn how to walk in those show.

  • The fur: real or fake?

  • boweryboy

    Yay!  I was waiting for you guys to review this colletion. 

    I’ve watched the video on their website earlier this week and I must say this was the first Sarah Burton McQueen collectionthat left me with the same sense of wow and wonder I got from the collections designed by McQueen himself.

    It’s also the first SB collection that I felt really channelled McQueen’s genius.  They’re pieces I can imagine he designed himself.  

    The cons are Burton has created her own visual vocabulary that she relies too heavily upon – seen the shoes and all the white dresses before in her Ice Queen collection. 

    She really loves those weird saddle shaped belts – although she did give them an interesting twist this time around. 

    I would love it if she brought some of the theater back to the runway.  I kind of miss fabric wrapped trees, merry-go-rounds, and chessboards.

    But most of all I’m getting really bored with her white, black, red and beige collections. I really want her to start using prints, patterns and color that McQueen was beginning to explore. 

    I do really like the collection a lot, criticisms aside.

  • Qitkat

    Sarah Burton has carried on the McQueen line admirably. Her collections have shown a softer, more feminine approach, while maintaining the exquisite craftsmanship and impeccable attention to detail McQueen is known for. These gorgeous, fantasy clothes are undeniably works of art, but I will always be left wondering what if. Lee was such a visionary, with a brilliant talent, shocking and amazing through the years.

    In this collection I’m particularly drawn to the more structured looks, and to the completely over-the-top ones. Unfortunately some of them look like gigantic fluffy puffs cinched with a belt. When the woman’s body is completely lost, I am too, as in 3rd row, 1 & 3; 4th row, 3; 5th row, 2; 7th row, 1 & 3. As always it pays to watch a video of the show, to see the clothing move. It really comes alive then. There were several versions like row one in the full show, and the sheer, dotted dresses in row five, all very stunning. I also love that black poodle puff tail dress, 4th row, 1. The final dresses in the show, including those in the last row and several more were amazing. There is much criticism of the shoes by folks here, but seeing the models walk in them looks almost effortless (maybe they practiced a lot), and they are an integral part of the look. But I did not feel the wrap-around eye masks contributed anything. All in all I liked the previous years’ winter and spring shows much more.

  • I am SO tired of people interpreting the future as this sleek and sharp place, it’s been done and is far from original. And no, going steampunk and baroque is not anymore daring. This, however, has an alien quality that is right up my alley. It’s provocative, soft and meticulous in a way that implies machine-like perfection. The headpieces make me think of virtual reality in which the wearer can change the world to make it look however they please. The sci-fi nerd in me is going crazy.

  • TSkot

    Would love to see the wearable versions of some of these.

  • Beardslee

    Let’s hope those shoes are the last iteration of the tippity clunker.

  • afabulous50

    Aside from Gaga – Anne Hathaway would look stunning in that red gown.

  • bluefish

    I feel sneezes coming on.  The pink one in the last row is total old school feather duster.

    I’ll bet these pieces look amazing set to music and floating down a runway but so heavy looking for all the feathers and gauze. And the shoes, while marvels of engineering, are just hopelessly, relentlessly fug.  Still, good for SB that she’s trying to maintain the tradition under such sad circumstances.  He was definitely one of a kind.  For all of McQueen’s excesses there was a lightness and whimsy to his stuff that seems kind of lacking in these.  Third little coat, first row, would be my dream selection.

    • boweryboy

      Well said.  And it is true that the dresses look fab on the runway.

      You can see the show (and past shows through 2001) on their website here.

  • sid123

    I see death.  My motto: Fur makes you look fat.

  • I can see plenty of lady stars attempting to wear, and royally fucking up, these looks.  Gaga and Minaj are the only ones bat shit crazy enough to make it work.  I just wonder how much these creations weigh.  

  • They look like muppets.

  • snarkykitten

    too many dead animal carcasses for me to appreciate it

  • This brings to mind a Project Runway challenge:  “Designers, our planet has been visited by fashion-loving, bird-worshipping aliens.  Different groups of aliens worship different birds and their dress reflects that bird.  Pick a button out of the bag to find out which bird your alien queen worships.  Mondo, your bird is the ostrich.  Kenley, you have the cardinal.  Austin, the egret.  Christian, black swan. (Hey, it’s my fantasy challenge and I’ll populate it the way I want to).

    • We must start a petition immediately.  Austin and Christian doing their interpretation bird fashion is must see TV! I can see the ruffles and organza now.

  • Westminster Dog Show.

  • That is one hell of a lot of animal by-product.

  • PhillipWilde


  • mrspeel2

    I kinda like the pink one near the end but the rest are way too weird. Even for me.

  • I know I won’t make any friends with this, but I would really like to see a post with fur on it without those EWW FUR, MURDER! comments. Im against the use of fur too, but It kinda kills the mood (for me, at least) to come to the comments and read CARCASS, DEAD ANIMAL. Besides, a fur coat can be beautiful too. Politically incorrect, yes, but beautiful. And we’re not even sure if its real fur.

    • Corsetmaker

      I have to say I agree with you. I don’t like fur either, and I wish the tide would turn back to it being as unacceptable as it seemed to be until recently. However there have been other collections, such as Michael Kors, which have been far, far more fur-laden than this and have attracted fewer comments on the subject.  This is a fluffy, soft collection, but only a proportion of that is down to fur. Feathers and textural use of fabric are more prominent.

  • I would totally wear those insane shoes.

  • crash1212

    That pink thing in the last row is FABULOUS! I can’t with those shoes, though. SO creepy.

  • DaringMiss

    I am having flashbacks to Chris March…perhaps the hair is human!

    • I liked Chris March’s looks better – human hair and all.  That last pink number makes the model look like she’s wearing multiple bathrobes!

  • kentiesgirl

     More than happy to wear absolutely everything other than the  5th row left. I can’t believe people see swiffers. I see luxe extraordinaire and I love it. Although I concede that bottom row left might make me look like I got tangled in my duvet while stumbling out of bed in a Poconos honeymoon suite.

  • Space Eskimos! Nanook of Naboo! What the socialites on the ice planet Hoth will be wearing this season (which is, of course, winter)!

  • OneTwoThreeFashion

    I can see Lady gaga wearing th elast black gown and the giant red strapless one!

  • guest2visits

    Love the fantasy; especially the pom-pom adornments, and the light pink gown at the bottom.