Jonathan Glazer bewitches the Thames for Alexander McQueen

Back to London, coming home. “Shape, silhouette and volume, the beauty of the bare bones of clothing stripped back to its essence – a world charged with emotion and human connection.” These are the few poetic words Sarah Burton wrote to introduce the SS21 collections and the accompanying film by English director Jonathan Glazer. Glazer delivered the excellent and innovative Under The Skin film starring Scarlett Johansson in 2013. He also made several videos for Radiohead including the remarkably beautiful Street Spirit (Fade Out) video.

In a deserted setting along the Thames river, a series of grim individuals slowly wonder around, in the water and on the shore, kiss, and eat in grey and sinister sceneries (typical of London?). These short vignettes recall post-apocalyptic films and Manet’s Déjeuner sur l’herbe. The twitchy and dotted beats fully support the mysterious narrative infused by both bare beauty and intrigue.

For this collection, Burton came back to purity of forms and colours too. The beautiful pieces feature deconstructed elements reminiscent of Lee McQueen’s love for punk. Less is more. Each look eliminates the superfluous, the ornaments and glitzy details of previous collections. Probably reflecting on the difficulties of 2020, Burton masters the elemental like no one else.