The latest fashion show of Alexander McQueen A/W22 collection had Sarah Burton, creative director of Alexander McQueen, brought mycelium to the room.
The luxury fashion industry is currently on a mushroom fever. The point being made is that Mycelium, a root-like structure of a fungus, offers a more sustainable option for fashion. Then, mycelium can replace a wide range of materials and even one like leather.
The news obviously spreads fast and wide. Now, Mycelium is the center show for giant brands and houses such as Stella McCartney, Hermès, and Gucci. Elsewhere, exhibitions like Somerset House’s Mushrooms: The Art, Design and Future of Fungi exhibition, or Merlin Sheldrake’s book Entangled Life extolled the virtues of fungus’ fantastical, spiritual and sustainable qualities.
“Mycelium connects even the rooftop of the tallest skyscraper to the plants, to the grass, to the ground, to animals and to human beings,” said Sarah Burton.
Moreover, Sarah made the mushroom a metaphor for interconnection and community between people in this collection. However, Sarah also focused it on the utter devastation of our current moment as a glimmer of hope.
“When we returned to the studio after Christmas, there was a huge mushroom growing outside on our balcony and what was amazing was it was coming out of a concrete floor against the window,” Sarah shared. “[Mushroom] made me think, you know, maybe whatever humans do to the world, nature will survive. It was a very beautiful thing, that you know, it can conquer all. It will prevail.”
The Alexander McQueen A/W22 collection consists of many versions of dresses and deconstructed suits. First, there is one symmetric sleeveless dress, piling on top of one another. It created in a psychedelic mélange of crystals, beads and sequins. Another is all-leather looks, including a banana-colored strapless dress and a deconstructed trench coat in blood red.
“We actually are trialing it, the mycelium leather,” Sarah said. “But I didn’t want to do it until we actually have enough product to sort of talk about as a story.”
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