Alexander McQueen Spring 2014 Collection

Posted on October 02, 2013


Pivoting away from the McQueen brand take on romanticism, Sarah Burton took this collection back to the house’s take on fierce, armored, warrior princesses. Claiming inspiration from Picasso and Mondrian, the results are eye-popping in the way one should expect from a McQueen collection, as well as powerful, in the way one hopes a McQueen collection will be. Once we get past the helmets and leather armor, we’re pleasantly surprised to see how tailored and laser-precise many of the looks are. We don’t know… we guess we’re just psyched to see the house can still make our eyes pop out of our heads.






[Photo Credit: IMAxtree]

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  • *sighs loudly* I am a happy person now. I have my McQueen fix.
    Damn, but Sarah Burton keeps right on bringing it, doesn’t she?

    • Carleenml

      and not a granny panty in sight. love.

      • alyce1213

        Hate to quibble, but there are two — beneath the beautiful, colorful, cut-out long dresses. (They appear to be panties.) Much to my surprise, I love them.

        • Carleenml

          oh, quibble away! when I saw those I thought more boy short/biker short than granny panty. but maybe I just want to give McQueen extra credit!

  • TrixieConQueso

    So much “No, Not Ever!” for moi’. And what, are we doggies who need harnesses??? (Shudders,)

  • Victor Beiramar Diniz

    and we’ll be sure to see cathy cambridge in coat nº 9, won’t we?

    • SignLadyB

      Well numbers 9 and 10 are probably the only things I’d consider in my closet. I honestly can ask only who is the self indulgent designer who comes up with this? Who is the poor fool who would wear any of it? And where? Sorry, one of the much less that fashion forward (I think) majority.

      • Paigealicious

        Um, it’s McQueen.

        • Sunraya

          And IMHO, it’s horrid. Each to his own, you know?

      • J. Preposterice

        Some fashion is much more art than it is “things to wear out in your regular life”. I wouldn’t call Sarah Burton self-indulgent; I’d call her thoughtful, meticulous, and true to the artistry of the house.

        • fursa_saida

          Yes, McQueen has very often been this way. It would be entirely wrong if she just started making pretty day dresses. Doesn’t mean it has to or should appeal to the average person or even to most fashion-interested people; part of the point is that it’s kind of weird. That’s part of what the house is about.

          But I’m also a little biased because my immediate association is to a lot of early-70s Bowie stagewear, which feels fitting since McQueen himself made a coat for a Bowie album cover early in his career. (McQueen’s career, not Bowie’s.)

  • Blair Sylvester

    I think it is really cool that McQueen still manages to stay very true to its earlier heritage under Sarah Burton. I wish more luxury houses passed the torch to designers who have worked at the brand for a long time and really know it

  • HomeOfficeGirl

    Hard to think of which ladystars can pull any of this off – but should be fun to watch some try.

    • Rhonda Shore

      Audrey-bot could.

    • Hetha Innis

      Rihanna is about the only one I can see doing it justice.

      • filmcricket

        Good pick. Angelina could make a lot of it sing too, I think, if she could be bothered, but she won’t.

    • Mori Rene


    • queenofpie

      i would LOVE to see anne hathaway in the one with the black feather peplum (hmmm…black feather peplum…who knew THAT could work?)

      • AnguaVonUberwald

        I love that dress. I want somebody to wear it, because it is awesome.

    • I could see Gwen Stefani in the red bum-flap pants and some of the narrower tribal dresses.

    • decormaven

      Solange Knowles.

    • i’d like to see katy perry in #8, gwen stefani in #11 or 12, and emma watson in #13.

    • Bridget Smith

      Were I a ladystar (instead of just barely the first half of that), I don’t know if I could pull any of this off, but GOD would I love the attempts. Though I’d probably stick to the first half-dozen!

    • conniemd

      They would look could in a ladystar magazine photoshoot. I can see several of them appearing on magazine covers with fierce expressions on the ladies.

    • ankali

      Cate Blanchett’s always done well by McQueen.

      • seelebrennt

        that’s exactly who i was thinking of as well.

      • Gatto Nero

        And maybe Tilda Swinton, though she’s usually more minimalist. But she has the stature and the innate *look*.

    • fursa_saida

      In addition to the great suggestions above, I think Lily Collins could do pretty well with some of them if/when they are edited a bit. I wouldn’t be surprised if Nicki Minaj showed up in some of the more harness-y ones, though for me that would only work in a photo shoot, not on a carpet or onstage.

  • I adore that ostrich leather jacket with the red and gold striped cuffs.

    • LipstickForPigs

      The leather pieces were my favorites.

      • I even thought that a crocodile leather bra wasn’t a bad thing at all!

      • kimmeister

        The black and red vest, and jacket in the next look? TO DIE FOR.

    • Qitkat

      That must be the one I so adored. Didn’t realize it was ostrich.

      • Ostrich leather is the one that looks like it is covered in tiny nipples!

  • Josefina Madariaga Suárez

    That first coat, the one with the Mondrian-like print… tell me right now who do I have to kill to get it right now.
    Just tell me, I don’t care if it’s the Queen of England.

    • random_poster

      Probably her daughter-in-law…

      • Lori

        I’ll be happily surprised if the Princess shows up in public in a print that strong.

        • ikillplants

          Me, too! She surprised me with that Erdem dress, I didn’t know she had it in her! She looks fabulous in colorful prints. Wish she took more risks.

  • jenuwefa

    this collection makes me wish I was 20, skinny and had someplace to wear the clothes to…

    • mhleta

      And wealthy as the Sultan of Brunei, too.

  • oklund

    I am so extremely grateful to Sarah Burton for not destroying McQueen. I still get shivers just *thinking* about the Fall/ Winter collection of 2009/10, probably my biggest fashion-related experience of all time. And one of my biggest worries was that that magic would be ruined after her taking over – but she just keeps bringing it. Hallelujah! /end rant

    • boweryboy

      That collection was phenomenal!
      Everything was pitch perfect from the trash heap broken glass runway to the Leigh Bowery make-up to the Philip Treacy hats to the take on mid-century silohuettes rendered in fabrics made to look like plastic and bubble wrap.
      I remember seeing it for the first time and my jaw dropped to the floor. That was when something clicked and I finally “got” the genius of Alexander McQueen.
      Sarah is bringing it, but her collections lack McQueen’s sense of theater and storytelling. I think that’s what I miss the most.

      • oklund

        Oh man, I’m going to go back and watch it again now. I agree – the storytelling, the creepy and bold drama, the clever use of reference, soundtrack, shape altering… ah, one could go on. I do miss all that enormously; but at least the house name isn’t currently being stretched to the limits of believability. I haven’t been so sure about some others – Dior, YSL, etc. – which lately seem to be trying way too hard, with mixed results (not that they don’t produce some very good pieces – but they also turn out some very, very questionable collections as of late).

        • boweryboy

          I think Burton has a lighter touch with her storytelling and the runway as theater, but she’s very heavy handed on the design. It’s like she takes as many signature McQueen design elements and throws it at a garment to see what sticks. For me, this tips it over into costume territory.

          I think it was the opposite with Lee. He was heavy handed with the theater and storytelling and,if I recall correctly, I read that sometimes he would come up with the concept of the runway presentation first, and then design the collection around that.

          As far as his collections, there always seemed to be a handful of classic, elegant peices like trousers, jackets, and dresses mixed within the more extravagant and outrageous designs, that could easily be worn straight off the runway. I don’t see that with Burton.

          • oklund

            Yeah, you’re on target – I guess I’m just trying to stay positive about the whole thing, and there are elements there to be positive about. Thank you for your thoughtful responses, McQueen chat enjoyed muchly.

  • 3boysful

    I see the Mondrian . . . and a little Mulan, too.

    • Erica_Vuitton

      Yes! I see Ming dynasty armor with Polynesian accents.

  • AMartel

    Didn’t an amateur version of this get kicked off Project Runway last week?

  • MilaXX

    What a breath of fresh air after all those tacky collections full of sheer skirts & sheer tops. LOVES ♥

  • Latin Buddy

    LOVE this. I was doing some digging and turns out Sarah Burton worked alongside McQueen for decades. Guess that’s how she’s able to continue since his death.

  • AMartel

    Boobline at lower ribcage trend. Do not like.

  • ThesisMonkey


  • alyce1213

    With the uncles’ good advice to ‘get past’ the helmets and harness styling, I fully appreciate the artistry here. It’s an imaginative, stunning, original collection.

  • Qitkat

    All in all, I’m not in love with any of this, with one exception. But it’s always a treat to enjoy what the House of McQueen puts forth. Always worth talking and thinking about. And we know the construction is exquisite. My secret dream which I’ve admitted before would be to spend a day in the McQueen storage vault, caressing the fabrics and marveling at the techniques and design, and maybe moaning a little bit. Err, excuse me, got a bit lost there for a minute.

    The 7th photo down has such an amazing jacket. I love the treatment of the sleeves and the collar, the multiple zippers and the buckle. It feels a bit Mandarin collar inspired for a fierce warrior princess.

    • formerlyAnon

      I spent a good long time contemplating that jacket, too. It is indeed amazing.

    • Can I come with you to this fault? I need to surround myself with beautiful textiles and fabrics and dresses <3

      • Qitkat

        😉 How are you at hacking secret codes? I wonder if Neal Caffrey is available.

    • Gatto Nero

      Number 7, yes. Cardiac arrest. Wow.

  • OpinionatedMtnGirl

    This is how you do a runway show. Sarah Burton always delivers

  • mhleta

    Beyond thrilling. A little part of me just exploded into a fireworks grande finale. This is what keeps fashion spectators coming back for more.

  • Kent Roby

    Warning: those red/white/blue outfits can trigger seizures! I love so much of this.

    • Gatto Nero

      That’s one aspect of the palette I didn’t appreciate. Red/white/blue triggers too many associations.

      • Like the British flag? Or the French one?

        • Gatto Nero

          Touché! Maybe it sets off my patriotic alarms in general.
          Love Ms. Burton’s work, though.

  • prettybigkitty

    Yikes those models are skinny. Their collarbones and ribs distracted me from the clothes.

  • The red/white/black jacket is to die for.

  • IRVN

    Horrendous collection! Lee must be crying in his grave right now!

  • miscorrections

    Leeloo Dallas Multi-straps.

  • DesertDweller79

    Love the jackets in #4, 6 and 8! Especially that one in #4. This is kind of crazy, but it is quite fun.

  • filmcricket

    So laser-cut leather over granny panties is the new sheer-over-granny-panties? At least it’s a novel take.

  • LJCdoc

    Do my eyes deceive me, or do I not see any exposed nipples anywhere?

  • PastryGoddess

    Anna Paquin and Salma…Stay away

  • Kat Cassidy

    Those two white dresses look like Daleks!

    • irielle

      I just posted something similar before I scrolled down to see more comments.

  • formerlyAnon

    Man, there’s a surprising lot of this I’d love to see on good clothes-wearing bodies, once some of the warrior schtick and the uglier shoes are stripped away. And I LOVE the third long dress from the end. All of the final three. I just effing LOVE the way you look at that fabric and are practically forced consider the choices of warp and weft if one were setting up a loom to make it (or, at least, that’s my reaction.)

  • Is that HAIR on some of the dresses?

  • I want pretty much all of the skirts for myself, and I feel like we need another Fifth Element movie to do justice to some of those checked numbers. Faith in fashion, restored.

  • JDreesen

    life imitating art imitating clothes imitating warriors imitating birds imitating…sequin waste (?) imitating paper doll cutouts.

    and by that i mean, of course, that i love this collection for being the batshit crazy insane wonderful thing that it is: Fashion!

  • mmebam


  • SportifLateBoomer

    The coats are divine. So very few stars could carry off a head-to-toe look of these, but separately the pieces could really sing and be wearable by mortals (thin, rich ones, that is).

    I still think about the McQueen show at the Met from a few years ago. Was so glad I got to see that all, up close. It was so moving, and helped me really “get” fashion and its importance.

    • boweryboy

      I envy you that. I visited NYC a month after the show closed. If only I knew when I planned my trip…

  • RL McGruder

    McQueen is one of the few houses that just stops me in my tracks. All of a sudden I’m not thinking about what I would or wouldn’t wear, but am just…compelled to let it all envelop me. Simply beautiful.

  • Trisha26

    Design & Fashion! Love every single weird bit.

  • while i appreciate this collection as a fashion statement, it just doesn’t speak to me personally, for the most part. the red, white, and blue just goes fourth of july for me. i know, i know, the union jack and all that…

  • Bill Craven

    I love the Dalek baby-doll dress, but the rest of it is just theater. Those harnesses just look odd.

  • Kate4queen

    It’s certainly riveting.

  • Merneith

    OH I’ve seen this movie. It was on MST3k. Jack Palance was in it, and the hero was some generic blonde beefcake and he had a midget sidekick and the director was a guy who had a real eye for buffalo shots.

    Also, the horsehair looks are clearly just ripping off Patricia from last season so what does Nina Garcia know, any way.

  • boweryboy

    It’s visually stunning as usual, and the craftmanship makes me gasp as always which is to be expected with a McQueen collection. I must say I am ecstatic to see Burton embrace color beyond her usual go-to staples of black, white, and red.

    I know I’m in the minority here, but I kind of feel that lately each collection Burton pumps out becomes more and more of a caricature of the McQueen aesthetic and veers further and further into costume territory. If nothing else, it precariously balances between the two.

    With those quibbles aside McQueen, Prada, and Thom Browne are three designers whose collections I most anticipate during fashion week, and this collection is head and shoulders above the hot overdesigned mess that was her Fall 2013 collection.

  • julnyes

    AHHH, I need the coat in the fourth picture!

  • crash1212

    Love this. I love it when the inspiration is translated so well into the collection. One question though…can we buy the helmets anywhere? I suddenly feel the need for a McQueen helmet and feel my life won’t be complete without one.

  • Kelly

    “Woman Warrior” is a grand theme, but actual helmets and armor are a tad too literal. The hula skirts look like they’d be fun to wear.

  • Julie Ree

    I keep looking to fashion to inspire. THIS inspires me. Lee would be proud.

  • elephantasmagoric

    Did anyone else notice the two Dalek dresses that snuck into the middle of the collection?

  • Samuel Joesph Donovan

    No. I’m sorry, no. Muppet clothes. Bondage muppet clothes.

  • Trickytrisha

    “Spring Collection”… yep, nothing says spring more than a bronze helmet, tribal neckpiece, a narrow flamenco skirt, and feather tutus around your boobs and crotch. (last two looks)

  • kimmeister

    There are a few toward the end that look like the tacky Miss World (or is it Miss Universe?) national costumes.

  • Jumpingjacks

    I miss McQueen, Burton does her best, but she lacks the showmanship and drama that came natural to him.. his shows used to be performances, this comes of as trying to hard to be extravagant while she’s not. It could’ve been a Givenchy collection

  • Bridget Smith

    Surprised that I’m the first to mention this, but: DALEK DRESSES. The white ones with the dots? I can’t be the only one who sees that, right?

    What a glorious collection.

    • irielle

      I absolutely thought that right away too, but I’m behind on my Tom and Lorenzo viewing.

  • Sunraya

    Goodness, all I see are some strange and ugly two piece outfits. I really don’t get it.

  • understateddiva

    McQueen is usually my favorite show, but my socks, they are still on.

  • joything

    Oh, all right, I’ll wear the checkered-flag-strap outfit to the Indianapolis 500 next year!

  • quiltrx

    Man, I’d love to see these up close, in person…and paw them, and breathe on them…you know.
    I love the color palette, and I particularly like the checkerboard (are they woven?) looks. We all know these silhouettes aren’t for mere mortals so I won’t judge on that, other than to say it’s nice to see so many looks that flatter the bust. And not a nipple in sight!!!!
    I think the black/white/red long coat is my very favorite.

  • kim bunchalastnames

    love. it. i feel like this is what valentino was TRYING to do with their spring collection, but missed the goal. there are some great pieces here, and PLEASE tell me that THE SWINTON and cate blanchett will both be wearing some.

  • Constant Cat

    I’m less inclined. I like the hard edge of older designs and the more recent softer romantic wildlife patterns. But there’s definitely an idea at play. Still…anyone not see the Picasso? I only really see Mondrian. Hmmm.

  • The blue & white graphic print and the white dresses with circular top detail make me think Sarah binge-watched Doctor Who at some point in the design of this collection.

    • irielle

      You’re right! I saw the Daleks right away, but I was so busy looking at the feathers that I missed the Tardis inspired print.

  • Therese Bohn

    I find myself wanting to see close up swatches of the fabric! Any chance there’s detailed fabric pictures anywhere? Amazing lasercut precision!

  • ankali

    Knock-down drag-out amazing. So impressed with Sarah Burton.

  • VicksieDo

    Hate it all…

  • rage_on_the_page

    ALL THE TEXTURES. I am so overstimulated in all the right ways.

  • ItsDicey

    The Xina Warrior Princess stuff made me laugh.

  • irielle

    Dresses #13 and #14 make me want to shout “Exterminate! Exterminate!” The Dr. Who fans will know which ones I mean.

  • SaraKal

    I can’t get past the sheer bonyness of some of these models to look at the cloths

  • Stephany M.

    I love the white minis, I think those are pretty much made for someone like Emma Watson