Tuesday 9th January

| BY Richard Gray

Ten Commandments: The Alexander McQueen Tassel Bag

10CMcQThe house of McQueen has always had a dark side and there’s something visceral about how the leather tendrils hang from this calf-leather box bag. At first glance, they look like party streamers, but look again: do you see an African tribal mask? Or perhaps a costume from The Wicker Man? Handmade in Italy, it is just one of McQueen’s new accessories for autumn and based, in part, on clootie trees, a tradition where Celtic folk tie ribbons and rags to branches and make wishes. It’s a practice that’s as old as the hills and this and the countryside of Cornwall were the inspiration for Sarah Burton’s superbly crafted collection. Each of the strips is laced through hand-punched solid-silver eyelets, inspired by armour. And the braided handle is threaded through with silver chain, so it’s really sturdy. Retailers call this kind of accessory “a talker”, meaning it’s a bag with bang! A bag that starts an outfit for you: bag first, dress, shoes, whatever come after. It’s just one part of a reinvigoration of the label’s exciting new accessories offer that American department-store buyers were cooing over. See also the black leather booties and delicate evening bags stitched with designs inspired by medieval needlework samplers. It’s a seriously good McQueen bag season.

Taken from the latest issue of 10, REBEL HEART, on newsstands now…

Collages by Betrayal Junkie

www.alexandermcqueen.com