As a writer and editor who spends 90 percent of my day staring at a computer screen and putting together words like puzzle pieces in my head, I’m cool with working from home. I’m even comfortable with it becoming “the new normal.” But for, say, a luxury fashion label like Alexander McQueen, working from one’s home or apartment presents challenges. Nevertheless, the show goes on. Even amid a global pandemic, we’ve witnessed firsthand that fashion always prevails.
Alexander McQueen’s design team created the British label’s Pre-Spring-Summer 2021 collection amid the global lockdown of 2020. When offices, ateliers, and factories closed down, the design team had to get creative. Armed with leftover stock fabric, they got to work at home, cutting fabric “by hand at kitchen tables” and dip-dyeing fabric in gardens.
Take Look 26 from the Pre-SS21 collection, for example (see the full lookbook here). The stunning dip-dyed pink-and-black dress (seen below and above) features an off-the-shoulder drape and a magnificent tiered skirt in washed silk organza. This piece, among others in the line, was created while “working from home.” Ahead, we break down the design process with photos courtesy of the Alexander McQueen design team.
STEP 1: CONSTRUCT THE TOILE
This part of the dress’s creation happened in the homes of Alexander McQueen designers. The bodice was hand-knotted, pleated, and sewn onto the corset.
step 2: experiment With the dip-dyeing technique
Next, designers ventured to the garden or the kitchen for this part of the process, which notoriously gets messy, both literally and figuratively. As seen in the images below, artists tested and experimented with the dip-dyeing technique on fabrics before enlisting the help of a professional dyeing team to create the finished look.
STEP 3: DE-CONSTRUCT THE TOILE TO DIP-DYE
After constructing the dress, designers had to take it apart to dip-dye. The finished dress was opened at the waist, and the bodice and skirt were dipped separately. The skirt had to be dipped upside-down in order to maintain the pink hem (which explains the curious-looking photo).
STEP 4: REVEL IN THE FINISHED LOOK
The below was shot by photographer Chloé Le Drezen, and the dress was modeled by Anok Yai.
The stunning dip-dyed pink-and-black dress from the Pre-SS21 collection is available in-store only and retails for $12,400. If you love the dip-dyed look but would prefer something more wearable for day-to-day, keep scrolling to shop some more options from the label.