Alexander McQueen's conviction that there's romance in savagery found a perfect complement in the inspiration for his latest men's collection. William Golding's Lord of the Flies, the classic novel that spawned a forgettable Balthazar Getty movie, is a proto-Lost, weaving the tale of a group of schoolboys stranded on a desert island by a plane crash that kills the accompanying adults. Their descent from civilization to anarchy provided the framework for McQueen's spring show. Against a soundtrack of throbbing drums and a backdrop of draped parachutes, the designer opened with a group of expertly tailored "proper" clothes, all in white and just begging to be messed up.
And after the initial emphasis on formality, as in a three-piece suit in cream linen, the mood steadily darkened. Hair got scruffier, clothes became less structured, more textured. A jacket-and-shorts set decorated with buttons suggested one of London's cockney Pearly Kingsor a castaway with too much time on his hands. A waistcoat and trousers trailing punky straps were poignantly printed with an old map. Then things fell apart, literallywashed leathers barely held together at the seams, a body stocking was split down its side. The escalating eccentricity encompassed a jumpsuit with trailing fringes, one cape of huge leaves made of leather, another of black coq feathers. A weathered black frock suit was an inverted mirror of the pristine white example that opened the show. There's no disputing McQueen's sense of dramaor romance, for that matter. However, this may be one instance when they combined to overwhelm coherence.