Review of Alexander McQueen Anemones Fall 2021 Ad Campaign by Creative Director Sarah Burton with Photographer Paolo Roversi
Alexander McQueen balance the momentary and the timeless with a new campaign that draws on the ephemeral strength of flowers. The Fall 2021 campaign features photography by modern master Paolo Roversi.
For the house’s latest collection, entitled Anemones, creative director Sarah Burton and her team recognized a powerful artistic opportunity in our present moment of renewal and reconsideration.
It feels like now is a time for healing, for breathing new life, for exploring echoes from the past to enrich our future. More than ever, a sense of humanity, of the team working together with a single aim – to make something beautiful, something meaningful – feels both precious and important.
– Sarah Burton, Alexander McQueen Creative Director
“We looked at water, for its healing properties, and at anemones,” Burton continues. “Anemones are the most ephemeral flowers, here made permanent in cloth. The women wearing the anemone dresses almost become like flowers, like their embodiment, their character – but amplified, grounded, radiant and strong.”
Roversi’s campaign photographs further develop this feeling of ephemerality and the balance of delicateness and strength. Drawing on his signature, iconic style, he captures his subjects in poetic studio portraiture that almost feel like recolored antique photographs.
Creating a rhythm that recalls symphonic movements or poetic stanzas, Roversi develops his compositions in response to the shifting color motifs of the collection’s flower and water visual cues.
He constructs a sort of liminal studio space by hanging sheets, creating a canvas that he paints with light and color. Clad in their blossoming gowns among this nostalgic, ambiguous space, the women take on the character of inscrutable Victorian heroines.
But the collection, as well as the personalities of the models, do not fit so easily into the Victorian idea of feminine passivity. The dresses take on a contemporary, independent edge through leather-jacket bodices, deconstructed denim, or power shoulders. The campaign thus feels like a contemporary reconsideration of what femininity means, especially in its timeless historical connection to the symbolic language of flowers.
The motif feels perfect for this moment of renewal and growth, inspiring us to stay grounded as we continue to blossom outward.
Alexander McQueen Creative Director | Sarah Burton Photographer | Paolo Roversi
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