January 19, 2009
The two distinct stories in Alexander McQueen's pre-fall collection elaborated on the themes of the spectacular collection he showed for men in Milan. One group had what was described as "a Dickensian opium den feeling." Dresses were fitted with high necks and the occasional bustle. The second group was all about country pursuits: a riding jacket, jodhpurs, shearling maxi skirts, and chunky hand knits. But you scarcely needed those guidelines to appreciate the dazzling craftsmanship of the clothes. McQueen's skill as a cutter is beyond dispute, but it was still impressive to see the way he deconstructed a mac to create a bustle-skirt shape or slashed a peacoat so it could do double duty as a cape. The slashes were lined in red, wounds that could be the work of the Ripper. The coat's lining was a print of a buttoned chesterfield. It looked like the interior of a coffin, just the kind of macabre detail that McQueen fans expect.