McQ Alexander McQueen
January 17, 2014 Paris
As is often the case, the most provocative pieces were the least explosive. A traditional buffalo check had been reformatted so that its squares appeared distorted. Flocked shirts with a trompe l’oeil bleached effect deserve to be the unofficial successor to burnout tees. Illustrator Fergus Purcell turned the McQ letters into two eyes and a nose, added a smile shaped like a scar, and voilà—a weirdly original happy face. Above all, the collection benefited from a simple styling formula: oversize tops over slim pants, their cuffs rolled high enough to expose boots with treads as exaggerated as fangs. McQ may be unapologetically street-inspired, but the quilted leather puffa, tailored camel Crombie, and shaggy shearling-lined coat were reminders that this is a label that has craftsmanship coursing through its veins. There wasn't much about this lineup that was threatening; but who's to say that's not a compliment?