Sarah Burton is a surgeon who this season applied her scalpel-sharp sensibility—and sensitivity to the McQueen codes—to slice and splice menswear’s tailoring template into an excitingly upgraded form.

Deconstructing tailoring’s facade chunk by chunk, she amputated sleeves and shoulders to create tailored three buttoned bustiers, which when combined with high-rise matching charcoal pants—slightly kicky—resembled a single-garment counterpoint to the bumster (the nipster?). A gray wool peak collar double breasted jumpsuit in sharkskin gray, built to reflect a more conventional suit that came before it, featured a cutout panel on the lower back. There was a gorgeous evening jacket in black that came delicately dismembered between skirt and lapel in order to allow for navel gazing. Sometimes, as well as cutting out, Burton layered-over. A drop-shouldered white shirt with diagonal pleats radiating from the clavicle that was worn with a leg-length pleated pant and an ‘AM’ seal buckled belt had a progressive priestly minimalism to it.

These exercises in cutting or pasting framed a collection that used the orchid as its chief emblem and which worked to rearrange the wearer as a cultivated object of beauty. The intricate black beaded orchid harness and the jacket whose cutout back was held together by the fleshy bead-realized petals of another scarlet bloom were the most direct adjacencies of these two themes. Long kilts, a fantastic scarlet cocoon coat, and an olive liner parka overprinted with black orchid silhouettes gave further nuance to Burton’s dialogue between flower and power.

Another interesting experiment mixed indigo and black denim in patched jackets and pants to create an unorthodox oversized check that subtly stretched the norms of denim’s conventional wearing. This was a hothouse menswear collection from this perennially hot house; its return to Paris in a few weeks time for womenswear will be exciting.


January 31, 2023