Blood-red satin lining flashed from under a lean white cotton coat that had been sliced open here and there. Alexander McQueen decamped to the Royal College of Surgeons of England to parade its spring collection, a treatise on precision tailoring spliced together with Kabuki patterns.

The wavy motifs — which occasionally brought to mind Henri Matisse cutouts, the subject of a blockbuster show at the Tate Modern — were splashed across pristine white suits, loose turtlenecks, shirts and boxy coats. The look was bold and not for the squeamish.

More approachable and subtle were the houndstooth, bird’s-eye and Prince of Wales checks that designer Sarah Burton pieced together on boxy trenchcoats and trim double-breasted suits, or appliquéd onto the front of a loose satin bomber.

The collection had a youthful, streetwise edge, and the elongated silhouette — an emerging trend at the London shows — was heightened by Frankenstein-esque nurse shoes.

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