Maybe it's because the line is expanding so quickly in Asia, maybe not, but this season Sarah Burton took her design cues for the McQ label from Tokyo. The first order of business was enlisting the popular manga artist Yoshiyasu Tamura to create a comic book strip print. It appeared across the collection, on T-shirts and sweatshirt dresses, as patches on denim and leather, and all over a giant puffer coat, preserved like a piece of art underneath a transparent nylon overlay. The city's familiar neon signs inspired another print; it was more colorful but less unique. A pullover sweater that spelled "London" in Japanese letters will do better in the shops.
Over the last season or two, the McQ collection has been heading in a younger, more playful direction. The pieces here kept up that momentum, but grown-up customers looking for the wicked cut of Lee McQueen's Savile Row-trained tailoring won't go away disappointed. A sharp camel crombie stood out among the boyfriend jeans and satin bombers. It's pieces like that one that distinguish this diffusion line from so many others.