McQ was founded by the late and great visionary of British Fashion and true genius, in the creative artistic sense, Lee (Alexander) McQueen in 2005. The range finds inspiration in street culture and sub-cultures, offering individual pieces that fit perfectly into the modern wardrobe of not only die hard McQueen followers but can be adopted by any and every stylish individual. It follows the main signature of the house collection, including structured tailoring, the nipped-in waist and of course, tartan, these are all distilled into wearable pieces that are distinct and evoke a quiet confidence but always hold a little piece of McQueen DNA. McQ collections often reference uniform and the military, drawing inspiration from Britain’s rich heritage and often reflect the emotion and raw energy often exhibited in his signature collections and Fashion shows. Traditional British techniques and fabrics are used in contemporary ways, creating pieces that are both functional and beautiful.
After Lee’s untimely death in 2010, Sarah Burton undertook the unenviable role of Creative Director of not only the main range but McQ as well, to which she has more then rose to the challenge and excelled. With particular reference to McQ she has offered collections of youthful, modern pieces that draw on the unique design archive of Alexander McQueen. Sitting in parallel to the mainline, that remain loyal to the brand’s house codes yet are designed to be worn every day.
For Spring 13 she offers a continuation from the more elevated AW12 McQ collection, the new season features soft, washed military pieces realised in shades of khaki and moss, alongside modern interpretations of classic street wear staples, like the military parka and the cotton drill military shirt.
The influence of luxe sportswear trend can be found throughout the collection, on everything from aertex jumpers and tracksuits to polo shirts. Almost as a juxtaposition, a make do and mend feel begins to emerge, with several pieces featuring sewn-on patches and several fabrications in one garment. Pieces feature ghosting detailing under lapels and of course the McQ tartan comes in camouflage colours, to tie in with the ubiquitous military undertone of the collection. That famous Gothic fingerprint of McQueen is evident in the insect and animal prints which appear on pieces.
(shot by Surgery TV a new fashion TV channel by Surgery PR)
Ok, before we start this morning I’ve a bit of a rant to get off my chest and I think it probably best put in the quote I’ve given to couple of publications, when asked to give my opinion on some of the more out there menswear shows we’ve seen this week during LC:M ;
“For Menswear designers today it’s increasingly difficult to obtain Media coverage so they know that, if they do wild and wacky pieces or collections they will achieve this. Very little has been spoken in the mainstream press about Agi & Sam who also were part of the MAN show, which included Craig Green and his, how can I put this, original face protection. This duo presented a great balance of directional and wearable clothing. Additionally, Oliver Spencer, Hackett, E.Tautz, Nutters of Savile Row or Matthew Miller, who all offered stand out collections that, virtually, any man could wear and look stylish and yet they receive very little column inches. It’s far easier to write negative articles about how crazy and mad Mens Fashion is even though the Fashion industry is worth £21bn to the UK economy.”
Jonathan Saunders AW13
OK end of rant, but I just find it sooooooo boring and lazy when people rip into Menswear, normally journalists who have very little experience of it and belittle and humiliate it when it’s a multi-million pound industry that is essential to the global economy and keeps millions of households in jobs every year alone.
Right then eyes down for round two and first on the agenda is Mr Jonathan Saunders, more known for his womenswear, this Scot is making real headway now with his Menswear. He drew his inspiration from the worlds of Op art, classicism and the Thin White Duke-era David Bowie, rather apt and maybe a good luck omen as it was Bowie’s birthday on this day. It was pleasant to see a collection which was so full of colour. My particular favourite piece was this harrington jacket in a gradation of colour like the sky at night when flying.
Richard James AW13
Over then to the re-furbished Cafe Royal for the Richard James Show who celebrates 21 years in the biz in 2013 and as you would expect showcased exceptional suiting and great re-working of the classic tuxedo in iridescent tones. According to the press release is was inspired by a unique fixture of London living that abounds with a curious, colourful life of its own. OK must have missed that but it was a great show.
Our next port of call was a Presentation called The English Gentleman at the Spencer House, which featured a mix of models dressed by Savile Row’s finest tailors. Forty different outfits were shown, spread through seven of the splendid rooms of London’s preeminent private palace. This essentially was a chance for Savile Row to, quite rightly, show off to the foreign press and just reiterate just how good at tailoring the UK is.
A mad dash ensued chasing round to attend a number of shows and presentations until the main event of the night, Alexander McQueen. Sarah Burton brought McQueen’s unique style of Gothic drama back to the UK and not since the Demeter carried Count Dracula to these shores have we seen such mystic. The models general demeanour was that of a rather demonic Max Headroom and the collection carried many of Burton’s trademark pagoda shoulder.This is something that won’t be to everyone’s likings, but there is no mistaking the sheer theatre of this collection.
The end of the Fashion world is nigh, well at least for London anyway before, its Milan’s turn to take on the baton. The subject of yesterday’s Post Christopher Raeburn started the final day of LC:M. Actor Russell Tovey, DJ/Presenter and face of Burton Menswear Reggie Yates (plus stylist Brother Cobi) Ohhh and we mustn’t forget Style Ambassador Dave Gandy all sat front row. Raeburn, invited us into his ethical world of outdoor pursuits, recycled and masculine menswear, with my personal favourites being his deconstructed checked parka with matching duffel bag.
A hop, skip and a jump over to join Patrick Grant at E.Tautz, here he offered his usual top class formal attire, where he perfectly blends the timeless traditions of Savile Row, yet manages to always deliver a bang up to date range. E.Tautz is one of those shows where you catch yourself thinking, want that, and that ohh and that. Keep it up sir.
Katie Eary AW13
Up next can only be described as an assault on your senses, almost a styling mugging, one could say. Kate Eary, managed to mash-up colours, patterns, prints and trends all without making look like some street wear dogs dinner. Everything from the styling to the music all worked in Eary’s favour. If you were feeling anyway jaded before you certainly felt lifted after that.
Lastly, what is starting to become LC:M’s equivalent of those memorable collaborations from the Brit Awards, like Dizzee and Florence, Justin and Kylie or Mick and Sam. Last year we saw Timothy Everest hook up with Superdry. This season we see the legendary Nutters of Savile Row team up with casual wear brand Peter Werth. These unusual bed partners came together while working on the wardrobe for the forthcoming film “Northern Soul”. The collection paid tribute to the archive of Tommy Nutter, oversized lapels, roped shoulders and wide leg trousers but mixed this with modern tailored sportswear so as to prevent it looking like a 70’s themed party. All these elements came together as a fitting an rip roaring finale to AW13’s LC:M, leaving just one question, how do you top that ?
Never one to do things by convention, the brand and house of Alexander McQueen has long been known for its dark, gothic and unusually beautiful nature in how it produces garments for both Womenswear and more recently menswear. After the untimely death of its namesake, figurehead and dare I say Spiritual leader, Lee McQueen who tore up all of the fashion protocol and did things very much his way. Still in keeping with Lee’s spirit and producing equally jaw dropping collections Sarah Burton has taking McQueen’s mantle and completely ran with it, to her credit.
For the Menswear Collection for Autumn 2012, the brand has produced a short film to showcase the range, which is directed by Marlon Rueberg, with music by John Gosling, The film very much captures the essence of McQueen and truly what the brand is all about.