Thursday, January 9, 2014

BEAUTY: Clothing--Alexander McQueen

London Collections: Men has really come into its own in the three years since it started. Now that there is a dedicated Fashion Week in England, a lot of houses that would normally have shown in Milan get to stay at home. Houses like McQueen...

And for the Fall-Winter '14-'15 collection, Sarah Burton took the House of McQueen in a very dark direction indeed. Inspired partly by the imagery of British photographer John Deakin (throughout the 1950s, he photographed many in painter Francis Bacon's inner circle, as well as the arts scene in general in Soho), and partly by a somber ethos too minimal to be Goth and too listless to be punk despite the presence of tartan kilts over pants, the layering of 50s Soho over 70s and 80s Soho was, as Sarah Burton herself put it, " a nostalgic look back."

The show was held in Soho (where else?) at Welsh Chapel, a former church and English outpost of the legendary Manhattan nightclub Limelight. As a fantastic reworked version of the classic Bauhaus song "Bela Lugosi's Dead" played, models who indeed looked like Peter Murphy from long ago, with eye liner and crow feathers in their hair, marched through the space in Frankenstein-high creepers. Coats, shirts, and jackets in this black and white collection are printed with Deakin's photos of a young and handsome Lucian Freud. Burton also showed tartan suits with a short over-kilt, referencing the infamous Royal Stewart bondage pant and kilt from punk's heyday. Finally, the only embellishment seen was a motif of dull brass (not gold) lamé in geometric stripes. All in all, it is a low-key collection but one rife with inspiration and references.

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