The Alexander McQueen show is always an exciting date in the calendar for those who love accessories, bags, shoes and all those other accoutrements that work together to create the sort of magic we've come to expect from the label. The legacy of the skull clutch and other loved pieces lives on in this collection, but Sarah Burton's interpretation of McQueen's affinity with the dark side is executed here with uncanny precision.

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In a show that was all about femininity, Lee's enduring influence is stronger than ever in the crinolenes, corsets and cages - represented by the gigantic hats - that emphasise and constrict the female form. The brimmed headpieces, worn by all of the models, all but obscure their faces creating fascinating shadow effects and giving off an air of anonymity.

In their hands, icons from the McQueen back catalogue were refreshed with new and ever more intricate designs:

alexander mcqueen skull.jpg Almost all of the accessories worn on the runway were oversized, from the wide waist belts worn by the models to the huge chokers and thick bangles, which further enhanced the structure and femininity of the garments:

alexander mcqueen runway 2012.jpg"The collection is a study of femininity. We looked at erotica. Vargas girls, cages, corsets and crinolines and the idealisation of the female form. Nothing is set in a particular period. It's about sensuality and skin but not nudity. We also wanted to express lightness, for the clothes almost to hover over the women who wear them." Sarah Burton

All images (c) Alexander McQueen