Sarah Burton was dreaming about stark northern landscapes, windblown terrain, and the earth’s minerals for this collection, which was filled with sharp tailoring, dramatic embellishment and prints hand-drawn in the Alexander McQueen studio.
Burton’s men’s collections are lavish, and it’s hard to imagine anyone — unless they’re planning on presenting an Oscar — going to work in one of her sharp-shouldered suits or coats. These are clothes meant for premieres, and big nights, although it’s likely there are some daytime pinstripes, plaids and checks hanging on a more commercial rack somewhere.
To wit, this wasn’t just any Sunday morning presentation in Milan: Members of the London Contemporary Orchestra played music beloved of the artist Henry Moore, another one of Burton’s inspirations for fall.
Burton’s take on the outdoors came as an inky black thistle, hand-drawn, printed and embroidered in gold and silver bullion thread on an ivory wool jacket and coat. A river of gold lava wound its way down another topcoat, while the red and yellow of a Henry Moore watercolor surfaced on a white suit. A leather coat had a weather-beaten surface from a process known as beetling, while a suede one in dandelion yellow was long, lean and elegant.
Other tailored pieces were done in a sharp-edged patchwork of Donegal tweed, or luscious duchess satin for a dark cherry suit, styled for the presentation with whisky flask at the hip. It wasn’t the only hardware: the brand is making a bigger push into accessories with everything from ear cuffs and chunky gold chains to sunglasses and leather accessories trimmed with McQueen’s signature knuckledusters. It can get mighty cold and tough on those Yorkshire moors, or on those Scottish islands in the North Sea.