David Sims knows how to evoke a mood in a photograph. It was his images of budding, blooming and decaying roses that inspired Sarah Burton's Victorian fall 2015 collection for Alexander McQueen; and, in an instance that must have felt peculiarly meta, he was brought on to shoot the campaign for the collection he inspired.
The campaign, which has yet to be revealed in full, features models Ruth Bell, Julia van Os and Jamilla Hoogenboom. Like Sims's spring 2015 campaign for the label, it features solitary women in a series of wallpapered rooms, with lighting providing the chief effect. In one image, a recently shorn Bell stands in the corner of a dusty pink room in a black dress, her face illuminated in a square of light as she bends towards a rose. The room is bare of furniture except for an antique-looking loveseat, which her right foot uses for balance. In a second, closeup image, Bell wears what appears to be the same weedy black dress, holding a pair of long-stemmed roses in full bloom, a frightened — or at least disturbed — expression on her face, like an animal caught in headlights. Both images are framed in thick scarlet borders, making them look like dust jackets for a haunting fiction set in the Victorian period — they bring to mind, too, Marget Atwood's dystopian novel, "The Handmaid's Tale."