Alexander McQueen launches a new stellar film, “Sprint Trainer” with direction by visual artist Sophie Muller. The fashion house’s Sprint Runner Sneaker turns to artist Mettenarrative – fierce dancing and movement in graceful, yet tremendous strength. This film breathes new life and new freedom into the garments.
Alexander McQueen has dropped the 2nd out of 3 accessory films directed by Sophie Muller. It draws inspiration from “Mette’s fiercely beautiful physicality“. Encapsulating the physicality, rhythm and emotion of movement, the film expresses empowerment through clothing, reimagining motion in every step.
Dressed in an Alexander McQueen satin asymmetric drape corset dress in both black and tea rose iterations, the maison’s playful juxtaposition manifests clearly. With a top borrowing from conventions of traditional corsetry and a draped, silk-blended skirt, the whole speaks to the elegant evening gowns inherent to the McQueen archive.
The piece thus, echoes the label’s fascination with the past whilst reaffirming a contemporary gothic scene, evidenced in the oversized metal hook-and-eye detailing.
The dresses complete the Alexander McQueen Pre-Fall 2022 collection, “The Process”. Offering an amalgamation of elegant cuts and evening wear coupled with vivacious sleeves and diverse prints. In both collection and “Sprint Trainer”, Sarah Burton proves her virusoity as the fashion house’s creative director, stamping her mark into poetic garments catalysed from Britain’s craft heritage.
The blush iteration of the dress mirrors a vintage charmeuse Alexander McQueen dress in pink debuts in his Spring/Summer 2004 show. This experience is truly breathtaking for the witness.
Lee Alexander McQueen invented a new world, staging his show in the Salle Wagram, a nineteenth-century Parisian dance hall. Finding inspiration in Sydney Pollack’s Depression-era film, “They Shoot Horses, Don’t They?”, models stumble, twirl, convulse and float across the ballroom floor.
American Vogue’s exclusive backstage photographer, Robert Fairer retrospectively looks back on the fantastical moment, stating;
“They Shoot Horses Don’t They?’ found its way, improbably, into Lee’s insatiable inquisitive artistry. His interpretations, from this movie and other sources, were beautifully expressed through his living art, his specific vision for how his clothing should move and flow when worn by his heroines…”
Floating in Thin Air
When rewatching the 2004 show, I couldn’t help but draw resonance from the ways in which a model is held up by her dancing partner. She wears a silk slip, featuring a midi-length and bias-cut silhouette with cape-like flutter sleeves. Two bodies struggle against one another – they are, “broken bodies, [with] broken dreams.” The model is hoisted into the air by her waist and then her leg. It’s in this very moment that I recall Mettenarrative in a similar pose, floating in thin air. It seems the subtle parallel between the 2004 show and ‘Sprint Trainer’ is realised if you look hard enough. The fluidity of Mettenarrative’s dress – weightless and liberated, parallels the breathless flowing motion of the model’s scalloped hem as she dangles from the muscled arms that hold her up.
As such, the reinvention of McQueen house codes in this film, preserves the legacy of Alexander McQueen himself, as a visionary genius. It becomes a further testament to the timeless nature of McQueen that you simply can’t forget.
Alexander McQueen Delivers Fierce Femininity
Both artist and shoe share the starring role, positioned front and centre in a myriad of camera motions, speeds, and angles. The emotion and countenance of Mette is captured alongside the sneakers, they are the focal objects of our captivation.
Mettenarrtive levitates, staged in poses and moves that are elegant yet boast athleticism. Seemingly the juxtaposition important to note isn’t simply in the garments but also in the movements.
From lifting weights to swinging from gymnast rings, and tumbling, Mettanarrative’s shoes and dress liberate her body, allowing for unrestricted movement.
Mettenarrative appears fluid like, her movements facilitated by featherlight textiles which permit the kick of her leg or the swing of her body. This fluidity to Mettanarrative demonstrates what makes the sprint runner sneaker intrinsically McQueen.
As Muse by Clio reflects;
“When alive, Alexander McQueen wanted to infuse his feminine designs with a delicious sense of danger, of the predatory, and that spirit can be felt here too.”
Thus, Alexander McQueen’s career-long ethos encourages design for the fiercely feminine. This sentiment is not forgotten by Sarah Burton and Sophie Muller.
Sprint Runner Sneaker
The Alexander McQueen sprint runner sneaker is a streamline, modern variation of a classic running shoe. Debuting on Alexander McQueen’s Women’s Spring/Summer 2022 runway, the sneaker solidifies its presence in the film. Its status surely aligns as a core sneaker for the Maison.
Retailing for $1,100 AUD, the sneaker comes in a myriad of colour iterations. From a white with a black counter-heel to the all-white with a white counter-heel worn by Mette in the film. The fashion house also offers seasonal colours of vibrant electric blues and popping yellows, reflecting a colour palette intrinsic to both men’s and women’s ready-to-wear.
Featuring an upper silhouette in white nappa leather, the sneaker comes with Seal insignia; alongside an Alexander McQueen signature on the heel counter. Meanwhile, it offers large flat laces. It also features an over-size sole, padding on the heel counter and tongue featuring the signature once more.
The Emotion of Movement
Muller’s work with Mette elevates the artist as a whole alongside the sneaker, whilst simultaneously showcasing McQueen’s reinterpretation of urban luxury culture.
Capturing Mettenarrative’s incredible athletic prowess as she pushes herself to the limit, the film becomes a beautiful yet authentic representation of an inherently emotional desire for physical perfection.
In essence, the film inspires us to feel freer in our expression, to dance through life with both balletic delicacy and sporting strength. The beauty in such a paradox urges us to leap toward the roof, for the sky has no limit.
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