Alexander McQueen: the Outer Hebrides... not Hawaii

This season menswear designers have been bitten by the travel bug - from tropical prints to talk of far-flung islands, the desire to get away from it all has been totally pervasive on the spring/summer catwalks. At Alexander McQueen, Sarah Burton tapped into this hot topic both literally - by moving the show from what has been a regular slot on the London Men’s calendar to Paris - and metaphorically, with embroidered verses from Rudyard Kipling’s “The Explorer” adorning jackets and shirts. It is interesting to note that by physically moving the show from its historic home town, the menswear line is actually being drawn closer to the house’s womenswear which is a regular feature on the Paris Fashion Week calendar.


Alexander McQueen Fashion Show

Elements of this elegantly put together collection also echoed its female counterpart: delicate broderie anglaise, trails of shimmering embroidery and flowing silk pieces broke up the signature tailored shapes that often dominate McQueen’s menswear offering. Of course the house’s sharp sartorial expertise remained a key theme in the collection - there were plenty of crisp shirts and slim cuts to maintain the London libertine feel - but this time they had a softer, more whimsical finish.

Outerwear was broken down to be reconstructed with Prince of Wales checks that gave a nod to the brand’s Scottish heritage. Guernsey knits, Fair Isle lace and climbing rope belts all cleverly referenced the season’s passionate wanderlust in a way that was both unique and on brand - after all, the McQueen man dreams of escaping to the Outer Hebrides, not Hawaii.

Embroideries of travel maps in sparkling threads and shimmering beads gave tailored overcoats an ultra romantic feel - another key carryover from the womenswear collections. Whistles, rock crystals and horns furthered the idea of the romantic wanderer while chunky hiking boots and studded sandals brought the look back down to earth, balancing the fantastical with the bold punk spirit that remains an enduring, and rightly exulted, feature of the house.


Alexander McQueen Fashion Show

 

See the Alexander McQueen Menswear Collection Spring Summer 2018