Alexander McQueen S/S 2018

Alexander McQueen S/S 2018

Mood board: Sarah Burton’s S/S 2018 menswear collection shared its mood and, in some cases, its textile – the distressed jacquard evening coats made from carpet, for instance – with the women’s collections shown in March. For that she looked at Cornish and Icelandic folklore. For menswear, she built on the poetic nomadic history of these magical places with a collection full of texture and tale. The pacing of the show played a big part in the storytelling, beginning with austere, tailored jackets in double-dye wool and bonded leather, slowly building to patchwork Prince of Wales checks. The closing looks were two evening jackets embroidered with a bugle and glass bead Tree of Life.

Best in show: The collection was said to reference explorers, storytellers and collectors, so each of the models wore tarnished whistles, rock crystal, horn pendants and Labradorite stone jewellery; their souvenirs of time spent on forgotten lands. Burton offered a modern take on the tuxedo as a double-breasted jacket worn with a leather bib-front shirt and slim fit trousers with a thick leather stripe down the side. Best in show was a long bibbed broderie anglaise shirt worn with matching cropped trousers. Its lightness was breathtaking amid the washed leather suits, multi-zip biker jackets and smart wool coats. Elsewhere, selvedge Japanese denim was marked with the graphic lines of contour maps and the handwritten diary entries of a fictitious explorer. Passages taken from Rudyard Kipling’s 1898 poem The Explorer were printed and embroidered across the collection too.

Finishing touches: The invitation for the show was a large sheaf of handmade paper letter-pressed with an abstract of lines from James Thomson’s 1728 poem Spring. Thomson was a Scottish author who published a series of four poems entitled The Seasons, written as odes to time’s influence on nature and man. ’With innocence and meditation joined; ’while softer gales succeed…’. Thomson’s ethereal mildness prefaced the brutal poesy of Burton’s collection.

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