Never has a collection encapsulated my ‘fashion mood’ at the moment of showtime quite like this. I’m talking about the dark glamorous sister of couture Alexander Mcqueen that has co-existed for six years but never saw the light of show – McQ. Considering this was the diffusion line’s first-ever showing during London Fashion Week, I’d say I’m fashionly overjoyed. That and the fact that Sarah Burton steered the wheel away from the casual and McQueen-lacking pieces the label has put up for six years onto a whole new level of fashion fantasy true to the late Alexander McQueen. The result is as close to couture a ready-to-wear collection can get by adding incredible luxe craftmanship to daily wear.
The runway was leafy and the mood was melancholic – the show kicked off with extremely wearable woolen outerwear in army green setting a plain note. But it didn’t last long. The drama started accelerating top speed. Sculpted skirts and haunting embroidery left me in awe. And that was before I glanced at the sheer gothic lace pieces. Bustiers paired with gloves (let’s see if someone dares to discriminate these gloves, cough!) so beautiful that it leaves you wondering…how a setting so sad can make you so happy?
The finale looks were evening dresses done two-ways – ones in the richest most dark velvet and ones appliquéd with multicolor flowers and floating peacefully on waves and waves of tulle. The new McQ girl is a sure tough girl – tough yet melancholic and vulnerable at the same time. Perhaps it reflects Sarah Burton in a way? And if the impecable designs alone weren’t enough to leave your mouth wide open, then the little finale number will.
As model Kristen McMenamy walked her final steps in ivory lace gown, all went dark except for a spotlight standing directly above her. From there, gold flecks started woodfalling around her as she crouched down to discover a rope hidden beneath the foliage, and she pulled herself to the end of the catwalk where a dark eerie hut awaited her. And just when you were thinking this was some kind of metaphor for Alexander McQueen’s death, a neon light flipped on in the cabin: the Core Club.