McQ’s collection spoiled the senses rotten this season. Offering a veritable feast of colour, texture and femininity, the younger and more affordable sister brand of Alexander McQueen took to the runway with a strong sense of authority and effortless style. Whilst the clothes were classical pieces, to be worn by the likes of Hepburn and O’Hara, Burton re-invented military style, giving it a romantic edge for the younger woman and revived tired evening wear with a new sense of life and style.
The first of this collection of indulgences were a series of stiffened wool coats in luscious earthy tones of green and brown. Whilst some of the hem lines fell down past the knees, others were cut higher, to reveal thick winter skirts with moss-like French knotted-embroidery, rebelliously creeping back up from the hem-line. A memorable statement piece was the double-breasted blue and green tartan coat with thick lapels and a full skirt, offering a irresistible combination of warmth and style. Drawing on the military themes,with the addition of a chunky black belt to draw in the waist, the cuts reflect that of the timeless hourglass figure but the heavy-weight fabric stop the pieces from being too delicate. Contrasting beautifully were the full-length textured leather trench coats in muted metallic tones, some with knitted woollen sleeves, which were distinctly more modern from their Scottish predecessors. The heavy leather had a floral patterned scored into it, much like classic English wallpaper, in order to keep the embellishment muted and subtle.
Accessories for the coats were just as irresistible. Once again, heavy leather is called to duty, but in the form of elbow length gloves, making them thicker and durable than most. Again, contrasting texture enhanced the overall look as neck cowls of sumptuous black fur clung to the models, as well as laced over-the-knee boots, reinforcing the dominating military theme as well as that of British equestrian culture.
In contrast, the evening wear focused on rich embellishments on feminine dresses. Alongside the same leather gloves, short, boxy velvet dressed lead the evening wear range, in luscious tones of red and endless embroidery, again, somewhat like the beautiful patterns of wallpaper. Following was a series of layered skirts, full-bodied and circular that were smothered in hand-made flowers in pungent pinks, oranges, blue and yellow, like memories of spring carried through to autumn. A select few dresses had floral tulle sleeves and straighter skirts in classic tartan which added a sensible contribution to the designs which also touched on the Scottish roots of the original designer.
Wandering on the moors of Scotland or getting lost in on English country estate is where these pieces can be pictured. They preserve the femininity that can be lost amongst the layers of practical winter clothing, transforming it into a sense of allure and mystery. What is also worth celebrating is that the McQ brand is available to a much wider audience, therefore enabling access to style to younger but equally chic generation.