Photo: Stuart Wilson/Getty Images
Alexander McQueen, the fashion house created by the late designer and built upon a reputation for staging subversive fashion extravaganzas, held its menswear show in London for the first time on Tuesday evening.Models with severe slicked-down hair, some wearing slightly unnerving clear plastic masks, small gold hoop earrings in one ear, walked through a series of adjoining rooms with dilapidated ceilings, as an eerie soundtrack rattled the windowpanes.
The collection for autumn/winter 2013, a subversion of the classicism of Savile Row, took in traditional menswear motifs such as pinstripe and velvet, and remixed them so that the stripes darted in various directions across jackets or coats.
Other suit jackets featured contrasting fabric panels. Statement suiting in head-to-toe patterns, reminiscent of stained glass windows, and a long black jacket featuring gold brocade, were among the most show-stopping of the night.
Suit jackets featured the trademark McQueen pagoda shoulder, which creates a striking and strong silhouette, while trousers were cropped short on the ankles with a slight flare, and teamed with leather brogue slippers and pinstripe socks.
Shirt collars were long and pointed, adding strict drama, while silk polka dot dressing gowns were layered with velvet tailoring for a spin on dandyish eveningwear.
McQueen, who died in 2010, trained on Savile Row, so the show was a fitting tribute to his career arc.
Creative director Sarah Burton, who created the Duchess of Cambridge’s wedding dress, said: “It feels right to focus on Savile Row for our first ever Alexander McQueen menswear show in London, especially since we opened our menswear store on Savile Row at the end of last year.” She added: “This collection is full of tailoring traditions and subtle references to English style.”
Earlier in the day, the outdoors, nature and camping equipment were cited as references for the latest men’s collection by Scottish designer Jonathan Saunders, which cemented his reputation as the capital’s lead colourist. Orange — quickly establishing itself as the hot colour for next season — appeared alongside earthy rust, mossy green and signature bright turquoise. A V-neck top with gathered bottom that bled pinks into burgundy was a stand out piece.
With men increasingly embracing more vivid colour, these clothes look likely to sell well.
The current collection for spring/summer made its debut on the Selfridges men’s floor this month, underlining the success of this arm of the Saunders business.
Brimming with modern shapes, such as his snug bomber jackets, which are now a fixture in fashion circles, Saunders seems to have a knack for creating slick clothes that are interesting but without being overly complicated.
Interesting texture mixes were at the heart of this collection, from fuzzy sweatshirts to plastic fronted T-shirts, colour block wool coats to tech trousers.
The prints this season, another integral part of the Saunders aesthetic, started off life by “splodging paint onto paper at his desk”, the designer said of the abstract patterns seen on tops or woven into knits. “There is always a David Hockney thing going on too.”
Central St Martins-trained Christopher Shannon, another of London’s menswear talents, delivered a well balanced collection, inspired by the likes of hoarding-themed TV documentaries and fabrics found in jumble sales.
Known for a sportswear look that combines fashion ideas with street-inspired details and fabrics, Shannon’s clothes and accessories now sell at some of the capital’s finest department stores, including Liberty, while his popular diffusion line Kidda sells well at Asos.
Two-tone jeans, leather shirting, hiker-style Kickers boots, panelled bomber jackets and sweatshirts, all looked likely to prove popular with existing fans this autumn. The knitwear was particularly strong, with playful styles featuring contrast colour sections and cartoon-style faces. Given the thirst for statement jumpers, these look likely to be picked by buyers.
Mr Porter, over tea and crumpets and with models in retro red telephone boxes, unveiled their new collaborative initiative with four of London’s fledging menswear talents.
Richard Nicoll, Katie Eary, Sibling and Matthew Miller have all created a series of exclusive items for the online retailer. The designs, from Nicoll’s graphic knits to Sibling’s leopard T-shirt, went on sale at the same time as they were launched to the media – a modern retail approach that leapfrogs the usual six-month waiting time for catwalk clothes.
This article originally appeared on guardian.co.uk
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