Alexander McQueen Menswear Spring Summer 2014 London
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Alexander McQueen Menswear Spring Summer 2014 London

With a Sturm und Drang prelude of pain-inducing trumpets, screeches and howls, Alexander McQueen’s SS14 show began as another one of Sarah Burton’s irresistibly macabre dreams, or nightmares. Opening with haunted porcelain-skinned boys parading under the derelict railway arches of King’s Cross, the collection borrowed the elongated and cropped silhouettes from the previous season, this time with reverence to distressed Victoriana; think lace, frayed edges, broken dolls and ceremonial rites of passage.

Signature suits were chastened with full-length layers of white scalloped lace and painstakingly crafted crochet, while others were rendered in intricate stained-glass jacquards. In characteristic McQueen fashion, the collection felt like a lesson in looking, with things not as they seem lurking throughout akin to Victorian curiosities. Whether it was the trompe l’oeil pockets drawn onto loose coats or the trademark McQueen skulls stealthily embossed onto dinner jackets and perceptible only in light, this uncanny duality seemed to be the defining theme of the show. As the show progressed, the McQueen man’s buttoned-up aristocratic ensembles went from disheveled to more soberly ecclesiastical, ending with sharply tailored formal ensembles. It signified a coming of age, but also perhaps a metaphor for the genesis of the collection; an evocative flight of fancy brought to life in what is always, when coming from Burton, believable, highly covetable menswear. Even better, there is always something more than what meets the eye.

- Maria Dimitrova