Alexander McQueen presents a beautiful menswear Spring 2024 collection in Paris. Sarah is writing her own history with Alexander McQueen and this collection is legendary!
Rarely do you come across issues in life that take precedence over fashion, but occasionally, it does happen. One such instance affected a member of the Alexander McQueen team. Thankfully, it was resolved to their complete satisfaction. However, due to this situation, the presentation occurred later than usual and took place in Milan, a departure from the past three years when it was held elsewhere.
Fascinatingly, this collection resonated differently in Milan compared to London, where tailoring is a prominent and widely embraced aspect of menswear. The founder’s early experiences on Savile Row continue to profoundly influence the brand. Out of the 31 looks showcased, 18 featured a well-tailored double-breasted jacket or coat. In fact, look 24 even combined both elements. In contrast to Milan’s traditional preference for soft, single-breasted designs, predominantly in navy, this collection leaned heavily towards black or charcoal tones and featured distinctive silhouettes that stood out. It is probable that some of these unique elements will carry over to the upcoming womenswear collection in Paris. An almost omnipresent accessory was a narrow black leather tie, humorously referred to as “James Bondage.”
Among the notable design elements were the rounded shoulders in the opening black coat, the suit in look 4, and the deconstructed ceremonial regalia jacket in look 28. The extended skirts of two reimagined frock coats in black pinstripe and gray sharkskin incorporated intriguing collar details and pockets that were somewhat hard to reach. Additionally, more conventionally cut double-breasted garments were precisely fitted, complemented by Sarah Burton’s tasteful variations of short shorts, which were popular across menswear collections during that season. Furthermore, Burton ventured beyond the conventional boundaries of tailoring by juxtaposing the defined silhouettes with daringly abstract fold prints in jacquard and embroidery, executed in collaboration with the esteemed McQueen collaborator, Simon Ungless.
These abstract patterns, adorning Burton’s masculine figures, were contrasted with chiaroscuro-inspired flower embroideries, resembling roses or Rorschach inkblots, elegantly showcased on a stunning white cotton suit. This, in turn, led to crochet knit flower vests, which, due to their liver-colored fronts, faintly resembled the anatomically revealing dolls previously created by Damian Hirst. Subsequently, in a majestic printed cape and flap-fronted bow-tied parka, the wearer was granted the freedom to bloom beyond the confines of traditional tailoring.
As a suiting skeptic residing in Milan, I was most captivated by the zip-up biker trench hybrid in look 24, which undoubtedly bore a story of its own through wear and time. Serendipitously, Burton’s designs returned to the country where most of the collection was made, resulting in a delightful cameo appearance.