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Thursday, 7 February 2013

Fall 2013 Menswear: Alexander McQueen.

Previously on Alexander McQueen.

The backdrop for this show was more like a movie set than a traditional catwalk, with models traveling between wood-panelled rooms that had the look and feel of vintage train compartments. But while the decor was old-fashioned, the clothes were all about extreme, disturbing smoothness. Every outfit focused in on classic tailoring (a nod to McQueen's recently-opened Savile Row menswear store), with an overtly creepy tinge thanks to the smooth, almost android-like appearance of the models. Some even wore transparent masks, giving their faces a glassily inhuman appearance to match the sculpted  Brylcreem hair.
pics from Style.com unless captioned otherwise.
These outfits are proof that it's entirely possible to make a supposedly sombre black pinstripe suit look loud and weird. McQueen wisely kept the tailoring slim and subtle while experimenting with pattern work, meaning that almost every suit was a recognisable one-off without looking too out-there. The main on-trend detail was the lack of tie, which in this instance actually worked quite well. First of all, a full suit, buttoned to the neck but without a necktie, is traditionally the outfit of nebbish weirdos -- which fits in perfectly with the unsettling, serial-killerish vibe of this collection. Secondly,  these suits are far more mature than the typical buttoned-to-the-collar shirt outfits we've been seeing on the catwalks (and on hipster guys. And Jonny Lee Miller's Sherlock Holmes.) for the past year or so.

There's a trick to wearing a collared shirt with no tie, and it's mostly to do with the shape and spread of the collar. As a rule, the distance between the points of the collar should correspond with the width of the tie, meaning that wider ties go with collars that spread out at a wider angle, and so on. If you think about it, this makes sense because the closer together the points of the collar, the less room there is for a tie. If you look at the shirts in this McQueen show, the collars are all long and thin, and point almost directly downwards. If you were to wear a tie with these shirts, there would barely be enough room for the knot.
Also, if you take a look at the outfits as a whole, there isn't really any "need" for a tie. Ties are an essentially functionless object, and these suits are already busy enough that they don't need to be accessorised. Either the gap between the collar and the top of the waistcoat/lapels is so small that the presence of a tie would make it seem cramped, or the collar itself serves the decorative purpose of a tie -- for example, the bright, contrasting red of the collar in the picture below.
Probably the two most old-school nods to Savile Row tailoring are the wide lapels (not usually seen with narrow-spread collars, since lapels also tend to correspond with the width of the tie) and pagoda shoulders. Pagoda shoulders take their name from the smooth, concave curve (like the roof of a pagoda!) formed by the peak at the edge of each shoulder, the best example in this post being the jacket pictured above.
The stained glass patterned outfits were undoubtedly the most modern in the collection, tying in with current womenswear trends for soft but brightly-patterned trouser suits.

The show closed with some of the most old-fashioned ensembles, taking inspiration from 19th-century smoking jackets, evening coats and velvet dressing gowns.


from here.
Previously on Fall 2013 Menswear: Dior Homme and the Illuminati.

3 comments:

  1. I thought I loved the first suit, and then I got to the bright red and black outfit...

    ReplyDelete
  2. Find a super skinny tie? CHALLENGE ACCEPTED.


    (Just kidding. Don't kill me.) -- Lovely and insightful article as ever.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I really like this blog about Men's Wear.
    http://www.thedarzigroup.com/

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