The indicators so far have been that many designers believe that Spring/Summer 2016 may be tough going financially. Commercial defaults such as military, safari, and sparse, minimal sports luxe have been rinsed dry and new ideas or trends woefully thin on the ground.
More than that, where London Collections: Men once looked ground-breaking, the lack of hard luxury and tech launches means that the UK’s menswear showcase is starting to look a tad tired. Even menswear ambassador David Gandy looked bored, often (overheard) telling people he was only attending to shill his new footwear company, David Preston.
Case in point being Alexander McQueen’s Spring/Summer 2016 menswear collection. Sarah Burton has decided to flog that particular horse to super-equine lengths, with tropes not so much subverted as tortured.
There’s nothing really wrong with the clothes, a polite parade of tailoring, pyjama looks, and serge blue denim with nautical elements scattered across it at varying degrees of subtlety, from spare to busy to downright monstrous (on many levels). A couple of dazzle camouflage suits hint at what could’ve been. Everything has that clean Kering sheen – which brings me to my primary issue with Burton’s Nu-McQueen.
Or should that be McQueen Lite? What’s missing from this collection is an attitude, that old McQueen ferocity. As with the women’s collections, the models seem placid and passive, clothes merely washing over them (and in the cases of an oversized trench and ringlet-punched peacoat, completely overwhelm them). The defiant peaked shoulders of old are now sloping and defeated.
Sarah Burton’s men may be drowning, not waving, but only superficially. You can’t help that think that Lee may’ve submerged everything underwater for a few weeks, added some black contact lenses and thrown leagues of seaweed at the whole darn show.
Review written by Lee Clatworthy (@bombfashion) for www.katiechutzpah.com