Trust Sarah Burton to choose the most haunting and beautifully strange show setting of LCM. In the austere rooms of Soho’s Welsh Presbyterian Chapel and with the Bauhaus track “Bela Lugosi's Dead” sounding in the background (the club scene soundtrack from David Bowie 80s vampire film The Hunger), Burton took us deep within the recesses of the human mind for felt like a sartorial ghost ride. Gaunt and hollow-eyed, with hair entangled in tar-black feathers, the models walked out beneath the high chapel ceiling, their shadows stalking corners Nosferatu-like on both the ground floor and balconies. Donned in three-piece skinny kilted suits and oversized leather trenches and wool coats, the Alexander McQueen man of AW14 was made from the very stuff of Poe’s Raven and Burton’s Edward Scissorhands.
While playing to the brand’s signature haute goth look, there was also a slightly mournful resonance to the monochrome tartans and the barely visible embroidered messages of “peace” creeping across heavy belted trenches, wool coats and suits; perhaps a subtle homage to Lee McQueen and his love of subversive mind games and the dark depths of the Highlands. With the charcoal and navy tartan graduating into white and pale pink washes and the appearance of jumpers and trousers sectioned by angular prints and gold zippers, the collection took a slightly surrealistic turn and evoked the trippy aesthetic of LA deathrockers Cinema Strange, whose films of zombies and dancing military men would have made a fitting visual companion to the proceedings.
Overall, it was pitch-perfect McQueen show; richly referential, sartorially impeccable, deliciously creepy, and flowing with the very blood of the brand as dreamed up by its founder.