This week, McQ Alexander McQueen returns to its spiritual hood with the opening of a new flagship and art space in East London’s Spitalfields.
Creative director Sarah Burton has channeled the brand’s core values via the juxtaposition of interior attributes (raw and polished, hard and soft, monochrome and colour) while respecting the original facades of the listed building.
Bricks are glazed or painted and the original ceiling-raft and wood floorings are left untouched; this is paired with McQ-styled additions like shuttered concrete, white lacquer, blackened steel and black-tinted glass fixtures.
“Spitalfields is an area full of creative talent as well as cultural and brand history and we are returning to the roots of the house,” said Sarah Burton.
Art is a big focus here. Two floors, spanning 3000 square feet, houses the brand’s main women’s and men’s lines – which are separated and have their own spaces – but the lower-ground floor will operate as a platform for emerging international artists, titled ‘McQ Hosts’.
Belgian artist Ermias Kifleyesus, is the first exhibiter. Globalisation, inequality and the past are represented through his multifaceted collages that are created from unconventional materials found on his daily travels. Kifleyesus collaborated with McQ on their FW15 campaign, where he was given total creative freedom.
And his involvement on this level isn’t without reason: during the 90s East London was the home for Tracey Emin, Gilbert & George, the Chapman Brothers and McQueen himself. Reverence for that intrinsic connection between art and fashion during that period fuels the partnership – activated in an aptly DIY manner.
McQ Alexander McQueen, 115-117 Commercial Street, London E1 6BJ