McQ is now known as McQ Alexander McQueen. It's a slightly wordy proposition, but the name change clarifies what the label's debut on the London runway last season set out to show: that diffusion collection and main line are more than distant relations. They're intimately connected, united under the aegis of McQueen creative director Sarah Burton. (Further bolstering the team, former Pringle of Scotland designer Alistair Carr signed on not long ago to work on McQ specifically.) The lines aren't interchangeable, of course, but ideas now flow more freely between the two.
Take the kaleidoscopic beetle print that showed up on sharp-shouldered tailoring and cocktail dresses. It wasn't too much of a stretch to trace it back to the Plato's Atlantis collection McQueen himself showed in 2010. Those earlier pieces are collector's items, and rightly so, but for anyone who wants to get the look—and wear it out of the house without a conservator's fear of falls and spills—here it is.
Of course, McQ Alexander McQueen would be small beer if it existed only to offer past classics in easily digestible bites. There were pieces here that spoke to an evolution within McQ itself, like the wasp-waisted wool coats hybridized with biker jackets, which provided a kind of corseted bodice and a frilled peplum. You could see where they'd grown out of the hourglass-shaped military greatcoats from Spring, but like those kaleidoscopic beetles, they'd evolved.
All in all, the label's new track is a promising one, and the label seems committed to helping it get its legs. A new McQ shop opened this fall on London's Dover Street, home to Acne Studios and the world-renowned Dover Street Market.