Sean McGirr’s debut collection for Alexander McQueen

After the 13-year reign of Sarah Burton at Alexander McQueen, newly appointed creative director Sean McGirr sent models waddling down the runway in his 2024 Fall Ready-to-wear collection – his first for the renowned brand. Arguably the most anticipated of the season, the 2 March show prompted diverse commentary as fashion fans praised and criticised McGirr’s direction for McQueen.

Inside the SEGRO Centre Paris Les Gobelins, a renovated train station engulfed in an aura of desertedness similar to the King’s Cross rave warehouse where Alexander McQueen showed his 1995 spring collection, a plethora of concepts were fed to the eager audience. Men’s leather trenches with pointed shoulders and cinched waistlines were paired with face-covering fedoras, forming smooth criminal characters. Knits and faux fur tops with rising circular necklines shielded expressions allowing only for the models’ narrow eyes to peak over the top.


Where Burton offered romantic responses using natural elements, McGirr offered a taste of mystery with all sorts of fabrics, from velvet to mohair, shearling, and stiff steel casings. Animal print dresses with sweeping silhouettes, pinstripe suits, skinny-leg denim, hoof-shaped boots, and sequined gowns were scattered thrills among the offerings.

The show notes read: “A rough opulence. Revealing the animal within. A compressed and elongated silhouette. Objects embedded and enveloped. Knitted statuary.”

Archive cues were noticed in the sculpture-like structures of chunky sweaters and long overcoats. McGirr cited McQueen’s 1995 spring collection, The Birds, as being an inspiration for his debut line, as well as paparazzi pictures of Kate Moss and Amy Winehouse wearing brand emblems from the ‘90s. But in general, the designer, who’s worked alongside JW Anderson and Dries Van Noten, was motivated by the damaged, eccentric outsider.

When asked backstage whether he was “intimidated” to “fill the shoes” of his predecessor, Burton, and the namesake designer, McGirr admitted he didn’t think of things that way. The 35-year-old designer said he was focused on “bringing new energy” to the brand.

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