This dreamy, decadent and romantic collection unfurled — in true McQueen style — on a cobblestone catwalk underneath an abandoned railway track. There was manufactured mist, genuine weeds and grass sprouting beyond the dampened cobbles, and a mood of moth-eaten glamour. Creative director Sarah Burton took the McQueen skull motif and worked it into a cotton lace for black or white frock coats that she paired with baggy shorts — a meeting of Marcel Proust and Los Angeles skater boy. The lace, like a tangle of spiders’ legs, worked its way into sleeveless vest tops, which were also worn over the ubiquitous wide-legged shorts. Suits, their trousers cropped just above the ankle, were fashioned from fraying floral jacquards or made from cotton ticking embroidered with black roses. Accessories included black slippers resembling Mary Janes and strappy ankle boots.
Burton cited “ceremonial dressing, the rites of passage of a man” as her inspiration, and this collection did carry a strong whiff of her fall effort, with its ecclesiastical bent. However, the strict shapes and sharp edges of last season are gone, while the tailoring, and poetry, remain.