MILAN — The debut of McQ, Alexander McQueen's diffusion collection, was never intended to be a traditional champagne-flowing fashion event.
Instead, McQueen re-created Britain's youth club culture, which filled a good part of his teenage past, to present McQ on Tuesday night during the men's shows.
"The idea is a gang of kids hanging around and dancing, dressed in an eclectic Larry Clark [director of the movie ‘Kids'] style," said McQueen, in an exclusive preview at the SINV SpA, the line's manufacturer, showroom here. "The clothes have a very distinct attitude with a nod to English film noir from the Sixties and ‘Georgie Girl.'"
The stage was set up in a sprawling former post office, adjacent to the central station, decorated with vintage leather sofas, a pool table and pinball and Space Invaders video machines. Outside, stands served hot dog and cotton candy, creating a cross between an Andy Warhol Factory and an amusement park. The up-and-coming band Ludes played live.
For the show, besides 25 male and female models, McQueen did a street casting, selecting a crop of kids from around London for their style, ranging from Sixties nostalgia to Rockabilly spunk. Some of their black- and-white portraits will be turned into billboards for New York Fashion Week or fly posters to be pasted around Milan, Paris and London during their respective fashion weeks.
As for the clothes, McQueen described them as "very me."
"While I wear clothes from my signature collection at night or to special events, I would wear McQ every day," said the designer, pointing to his navy wool knit Montgomery coat.
The collection is expected to generate sales of between $60 million to $121 million in three years. The initial retail plan of 600 sales points was revised downward to 400, according to Jonathan Akeroyd, chief executive officer for Alexander McQueen. "Though this collection will sit next to Miu Miu and Marc by Marc Jacobs, it has a very unique point of view," he added.
The collection includes fabrics such as wool checks, floral printed cottons, leathers, hand knits and over-dye techniques.McQueen staples such as belted capes, formfitting dresses with crisscross lacing down the front and back and loose shapes over snug bottoms trickled down to the 190-piece collection, which is priced 40 percent below the signature line.
Highlights included a tromp l'oeil group, where blouses made with check and floral combos seem tucked inside a denim miniskirt or slim pants but are in fact one piece, just like the knitted T-shirts with appliquéd long shirt sleeves.
Chunky and loose wool sweaters feature hand-knitted overlay motifs and are tossed over skinny jeans, while metal hardware such as pins, chains and buttons are treated for matte vintage effects and sewn onto denim vests and biker jackets.
Retail prices range from $181 for jeans to $302 for dresses and jackets, but can reach up to $480 for elaborate knitwear.
"In the beginning it was a denim-driven collection but that changed because once I start designing, I just can't stop," chuckled McQueen.
@tradesy is turning the concept of a showroom upside down with its new space in Santa Monica. Here, the company plans to hold events, art exhibits and a showcase rare fashion pieces like this Louis Vuitton boxing set. Get all the details on Tradesy’s first showroom on WWD.com. #wwdnews
Spotted last night at the @erdem x @hm launch event: Kate Bosworth, Rashida Jones, Kirsten Dunst and Selma Blair. The party, which took place in LA, also marked the opening of their pop-up shop. “I was interested in creating a collection that wasn’t in any way disposable. It was about pieces you’d create and keep forever, things that have a permanence to it,” designer Erdem Moralioglu said. #wwdeye (📷: Katie Jones)
Renee Zellweger in yellow in 2001 and again in 2017. Chosen as one of the 12 @pantone Leading Spring Colors (and dubbed “Meadowlark”), it only makes sense that the bright hue stands the test of time and is making a resurgence this season, seen already on stars like @blakelively and @gigihadid. (📷: Donato Sardello & @rexfeatures) #wwdfashion #tbt
Dior’s 70th anniversary celebration continues with a new exhibition at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto. “Christian Dior,” which is scheduled to run through March 18, takes a look at the founders tenure from 1947 to 1057 and feature 40 designs. Pictured here is an evening gown from the Ailée, fall 1948-49 haute couture collection. #wwdfashion (📷: Brian Boyle)
As one of the most recognizable models in the world, Christy Turlington Burns has an insider’s view of the fashion industry and the allegations of sexual harassment swirling around it. “I can say that harassment and mistreatment have always been widely known and tolerated in the industry. The industry is surrounded by predators who thrive on the constant rejection and loneliness so many of us have experiences at some point in our careers,” Turlington told WWD, along with her suggestions for how the modeling world should protect younger women and men. Read more on WWD.com. Link in bio. (📷: Tony Palmieri) #wwdnews
@asics America has tapped a new brand ambassador: famed DJ/record producer @steveaoki. This initiative is intended to set the tone for the new brand identity and philosophy and will include partnerships with influencers and in-store and off-line activations that will continue into next year. This is Asics’ most significant marketing effort in two decades, and is expected to attract younger consumers to the brand. #wwdfashion
24-year-old Jean Prounis is redefining the rules of jewelry. Formerly a studio assistant to Jemima Kirke and a design apprentice at Ghuran, she focuses on handcrafted subtleties and ancient goldsmithing techniques. “There was a really sterile feel in the environment and I wanted to have jewelry with character that shapes how you wear it everyday,” Prounis said. Each piece is hand made in New York, either by Prounis or three other jewelers in the district. #wwdfashion
“These collections continue to build on that vision, empowering differently abled adults to express themselves through fashion,” said @tommyhilfiger of his line of adaptive apparel, which launches today. The line consists of 37 men’s and 34 women’s styles based upon the pieces from the spring Tommy Hilfiger sportswear collection. #wwdnews