WORDS Philip Livchitz
Held at the Orangerie du Senat in the Luxembourg Gardens, McQueen’s SS18 menswear collection was eagerly anticipated following the illustrious display presented earlier this year for AW17. After all, it isn't an everyday occurrence to see every single item of clothing being exhibition-worthy, whilst maintaining its appeal to the contemporary dandy. Sarah Burton, McQueen’s creative director, nevertheless, focused on a different set of aesthetics for this collection accompanied by pragmatic youthful approach accompanied by a healthy dose of Savile Row tailoring.
The collection opened with the model wearing a black double-breasted long structured coat, white tunic-collared shirt, black structured cropped trousers and white McQueen signature trainers - the look was completed with a skull necklace. This was a clear departure from the AW17 collection and voiced a return to simpler layers and garments whilst still emphasising tailoring and its importance.
The collection evolved and maintained its dynamic nature where the only constant, it seemed, was change. A black-sleeveless wide-lapelled leather coat was followed by its red fully fitted counterpart. The collection was given an edgier look through the fashion house’s spin on the traditional black biker jacket complemented by a pair of black leather trousers, where both contained sets of horizontal and vertical zipped pockets. Subsequently, once again, the clothes on display portrayed a more traditional side of McQueen paired with immaculate tailoring – grey and orange houndstooth glen plaid suits, camel coloured wide-lapelled trench coats followed by colourful square-patterned knits.
Towards the end the collection had turned into a luxurious display of evening wear with a gorgeous floral-patterned suit jacket, a stunning cream coloured evening jacket with black wide lapels and, finally, in signature McQueen style, a black fringed suit jacket with a large symmetrical golden tree embroidery being split evenly in two on each front seam. These pieces illustrated the finer aspects of McQueen with an enormous amount of attention to detail and showcased classical English tailoring.
The collection tells a story of a versatile modern man ready to take on any situation he may find himself in – be it a casual night out with friends, exciting rock gig, formal business meeting, or a luxurious awards event. The collection took a far more casual form than expected and engaged its audience through practicality of the clothing on display. Simplicity in form has yet again won over.