• Text Alice Simkins
  • 25th June 2018

Rich brushstrokes

Post-show Sarah Burton explained, ‘I feel McQueen is always about a narrative, it’s about a beauty, an elegance, a rawness: a dark and a light’. Expanding on these values instilled by Lee McQueen himself, Burton’s SS19 collection turned to mid-twentieth century British artists such as Francis Bacon and his lover John Deakin. The former’s influence was evident in the intangible shapes rendered in rich shades of lust red and painters pink, which were boldly hand painted onto formal peak-collared suits in single and double-breasted iterations.

A stand-out black tailored suit was intricately embroidered in rich red layers which cascaded around the chest and down the arm. Sensually tactile, the stitching resembled a brush stroke and threads were left loose at the ends. This was streetwear, but not how we’ve come to understand the term in 2018. Instead, here was the uniform of 50s/60s kids: slim suiting, extended shirt hems and the kind of exquisitely fitting blazers that’d send Sting’s Ace Face character weak at the knees. 

Fitted wool silk coats and jackets were constructed from contrasting panels and teamed with sharp chisel-toed boots and long trousers accented with sharp red and white stripes. Elsewhere, one look saw a model strode out in a full-leather biker suit, punctuated by zips and epic moto boots. Part The Girl on a Motorcycle, part Terminator, we imagine it must’ve taken a whole team to heave the tight pants off in the parisian heat. A lesson in contemporary elegance, here was the ethos of Alexander McQueen, complete: a twisted fierceness crafted with ultimate finesse.