It’s officially here and it’s scorching. That exciting time of the year when us Brits moan at the fatiguing humidity, revel in the mid-day heat only to complain of the skin destroying effects and wish for torrential rain, until to our dismay it finally arrives.
Whilst most of us are worrying about what’s hot for right now, fabulous fashionista’s flock to Milan for Menswear fashion week S/S11. Don’t panic this is not a tedious re-type of the Milan fashion week article, this piece is purely premeditated to pay tribute to the late Lee Alexander McQueen and update you on the movements of the McQueen brand.
The McQueen show is always one of the most anticipated events at MFW and this season even more so, due to the menswear collection being the first fully produced under new Creative Director, Sarah Burton.
Sarah Burton grew up in Manchester and graduated from Central Saint Martins in 1997 and has held the role as head of design for womenswear at McQueen since 2000.
Following the tragic suicide of McQueen in early February, Burton was left to direct the completion of the Alexander McQueen A/W 2010 collection in time for Paris Fashion Week. The collection received an endless abundance of praise from press and supporters, to which Miss Burton commented:
“The creation of modern, beautifully crafted clothes was at the heart of Lee’s vision. I intend to stay true to his legacy.”
Burton has worked alongside McQueen for a total of sixteen years and was officially named Creative Director at the label late last month. I’m sure the success was bitter sweet as the need to both pay homage to Lee McQueen’s legacy and move the brand on must have weighed heavily on her shoulders.
Burton has stayed effectively true to the iconic roots of the brand, producing a twenty four piece collection captivating all that is elite about McQueen, incorporating the brand’s British Saville Row roots, aristocracy, military opulence and all the lustre of a fading empire.
Burton’s sole d?but collection integrated war trench coats, schoolboys’ morning jackets, Teddy Boy brothel creepers with a ‘hooligan’ dose of that fastidious trademark tailoring. Not to mention smashing the check-list for next seasons budding ‘clash’ theme.
Shirts exposed handsome, billowing cuffs and a mix of exaggerated Lagerfeld high collars, contrast double collars or lapelled necklines.
Trousers cut either on square ankle swing or mirroring a regency Jodhpur (which, if you read my articles regularly you’ll know I’m a sucker for), with the odd statement digital print, which for me, has veered away from the bird/butterfly inspired theme from last season, and moved into a snakey, Gucci feel.
Waistcoats and jackets portraying a romantic decadence, innovatively shaped with a modern flare but in varying styles, including skinny fit, leather biker jackets, trenches and long elegant smoking coats.
For me this collection is like an ugly boyfriend: at first I detested it, however the more and more I looked at it I began to adore it. I still some what adhere to my first thoughts of lacklustre and after long deliberation I have realized that the ‘lustre’ I was missing was that dark twisted angle you were always promised from a McQueen collection. However, that very exclusion probably saved Burton from the tedious reviews slating her for trying to fill Lee’s boots, which would be impossible for anyone.
All in all, Sarah Burton collided into this enormous job and an even bigger shadow, and although we McQueen fanatics may still have our hang-ups, she has succeeded in staying true to the brand yet moving it forward in her own interpretation.
I believe the McQueen brand is in trustworthy, nurturing hands, which may well pave the way for an interesting future. I for one can’t wait to see what’s in store for the S/S11 womenswear collection.
So below you can find some of the last pieces you can own from the genius that was Alexander McQueen. I really love the new collection above but these are the last items which will have his personal stamp on them and they are selling out fast everywhere!