The house of Alexander McQueen has always blurred the line between immaculate tailoring and eccentricity, each season spinning a thread of intellectual fantasy. The story told within A/W13 menswear is that of mild mechanical horror, where English gentleman meets android.
Making its menswear debut in London, the show has set a bar in terms of construction and styling. The hair, styled by Guido Palau, was a masculine take on the 1920s shingle; a vampish, high-shine rigid style that referenced both Scott Fitzgerald and the well-tailored Englishman. This was repeatedly worn with a plastic mask and the dark, gothic make-up which has become a regular element of the McQueen aesthetic – a continuous nod to the Victorian Gothicism which brings a melancholic, cinematic shade to each collection.
"The hair, styled by Guido Palau, was a masculine take on the 1920s shingle; a vampish, high-shine rigid style that referenced both Scott Fitzgerald and the well-tailored Englishman."
From a pinstripe three-piece suit to a double-breasted woolen coat, traditional Savile Row silhouettes were subtly distorted and subverted in the inimitable McQueen style, be it in the sculpted shoulder detailing or spotted cuffs and elongated collars on a cotton white shirt. The collection also featured velvet jackets worn over silk dressing gowns, nodding to the Gentlemen’s club era of the early twentieth century.
McQueen once stated, “I find beauty in the grotesque,” and this has always been an underlying theme within each collection. A juxtaposition of beauty within the haunted soul, be it a plastic mask, a barbed-wire cufflink or simply a well coiffed wave.
Text by Mhairi Graham
See the contrast with the menswear hair from S/S13 here.