We’ve missed Alexander McQueen’s menswear shows. Always good clothes, obviously, but also because a McQueen show, any McQueen show, feels like a bit of a moment. And tonight, more so – this was their very first time showing in Paris (joining the womenswear, which is presented in the city each season) and marking the return of the collection to a runway after a few seasons off. According to the release, this was inspired by “pioneers and explorers, storytellers and collectors.” It began in a way I want to call austere, and almost puritanical, which admittedly are words I just lifted from the release. But it’s true nonetheless – it’s something about the sharpness of the tailoring and those collarless shirts, the strict colour palette of black and white.
There was leather too – precisely-cut trench coats, some sleeveless, that loosened up into leather Perfecto biker jackets and shearlings, worn with matching leather pants and covered completely in zippers. Easy access? But Sarah counterbalanced any severity with something wholly more romantic, poetical. Sarah is a woman who designs on emotion. Which meant broderie tunic tops, in white cotton, worn with matching trousers. Fairisle wool tops, cinched at the waist with explorer’s ropes. Shirting and denim that hung with thousands of dangling threads, echoing Sarah’s previous women’s collection. Those threads were formed from turning jacquard inside out, leaving the perfect jacquard surface hidden close to the skin. It finished with more tailoring, this time emboldened with a tree – “the Tree of Life” -made entirely from hand-stitched glass bead embroidery. Because there’s something to be said for making clothes to be in awe of. Why not? We love a fashion fantasy.
Photograph by Jason Lloyd-Evans