Edgy and sensual at Alexander McQueen
Sumptuous and feminine with intricate lace and pleat work, Alexander McQueen's new look unveiled on Tuesday was also edgy and unsettling, as models stepped out with hoods or masked faces.
Sarah Burton, chosen to design Kate Middleton's wedding dress, was showcasing her third collection since the death of the label's founder.
Her first models stepped out in cream and gold dresses and skirt suits, with ultra-fine pleats and wide waistbands that suggested a geisha's belt, their head wrapped in lace that veiled the eyes but left the rest of the face exposed.
Elaborate flounces appeared at the hem of skirts, and necklines plunged gradually deeper, like on a close-fitting pale pink jacket which was fastened at the neck and navel with a diamond left open on the chest.
Or another, whose chest was cut open to reveal a delicate beige bra.
For footwear, there were laced platforms, which climbed gradually higher up the calf.
A redingote dress, with purple floral motif on a blue background, had spiralling flounces down the hips and back, while a bustier dress in the same print was cut out beneath the chest to expose a fine lace brassiere.
Skirt hems had flounces that trailed out behind as the models walked.
Not a pair of pants in sight as the collection moved on to baby-doll micro-dresses, and bubble dresses including one in a luminous orange.
Sheer hoods reached down to the base of the forehead, creeping down slightly onto the bridge of the nose.
Followed a full-face mask, worn over a sheer dress embroidered with spidery Rorschach-like symmetrical patterns, in shiny black.
Like the masked ball characters from Stanley Kubrick's "Eyes Wide Shut", at night McQueen's women wore heels laced up to the knee, their faces hidden away.
One wore a black lace corset with push-up brassiere, her face entirely covered, but for her eyes, in black and white scales. Another stepped out with eyes masked, but breasts naked under a black veil.
Finally, McQueen's woman turned warrior-like, in silver and white, with pointed metallic harnesses on the hips or in one case a centurion-like hood that curled down under the chin and linked into a golden breastplate.
© 2011 AFP