McQueen’s Sarah Burton can’t stop thinking about the Welsh valleys


MCQUEEN OF WALES: Sarah Burton and her team of Alexander McQueen extended their fashion education to the wilds of Wales with a design and photography project that resulted in a documentary style book and film, both of which can be viewed on the brand’s website from Monday.

In the summer of 2020, McQueen staff members worked with students aged 12 to 17 from the South Wales valleys, running fashion, photography and embroidery workshops aimed at encouraging young people to explore their own creative vision and discover life in the industry.

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The initiative followed Burton’s Fall 2020 collection, which drew inspiration from the country’s landscape and craftsmanship, poetry and literature.

The McQueen team worked with Charlotte James, a Welsh creative director and filmmaker, and Clementine Schneidermann, a French documentary photographer based in Wales, on the project.

McQueen said the youngsters’ sketches, research, writing, embroidery, photographs and props with the brand’s studio resulted in a four-day shoot by James and Schneidermann at locations in Wales such as Brynmawr, Abertillery Park, Blaina, Keeper’s Pond Blaenavon and Ogmore. by the sea.

A page from & # x00201c; Alexander McQueen in Wales, & # x00201d;  with a sketch of one of the Welsh students.  - Credit: courtesy image

A page from “Alexander McQueen in Wales”, with a sketch of one of the Welsh students. – Credit: courtesy image

Courtesy Image

Over a year after filming, the brand published a book documenting the project titled “Alexander McQueen in Wales”. The book, and an accompanying documentary-style film, can be accessed on the company’s website in a section called Unlocking Stories. There is also information on the brand’s educational initiatives and fashion films related to past projects with students.

“We have all been inspired by the experience of being able to make a practical connection to this collaboration with young people in Wales,” said Burton.

“Community values ​​and the belief in providing creative opportunities to young people are at the heart of what we believe at Alexander McQueen, and this recording of what we all learned together last year is testament to what things transforming can happen anywhere by promoting equal access to creative ideas, ”she added.

Schneidermann said that to her and James, “Fashion has never been a goal in itself, but rather an excuse to generate ideas and opportunities. Our main focus has always been photography and creative workshops in the sense of We try to raise awareness and familiarize ourselves with creative skills and art in general through workshops and photography sessions.

The Welsh project is part of Burton’s larger commitment to fashion education.

As of 2019, the designer has dedicated an entire floor of London’s McQueen Bond Street flagship to student education, creating open-access facilities and study programs for school-aged, college and college-aged students and academic across the UK.

McQueen also made ongoing donations to students, redistributing leftover materials for student collections.

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