The photographer – who is best known for his war photography – turns his lens on the house’s Spring/Summer 2020 menswear collection
British photojournalist Don McCullin – who is often awarded the epithet of the greatest living photographer – is best known for his war photography, having documented many of the major conflicts of the 20th and 21st centuries: from the Berlin Wall crisis and the Turkish invasion of Cyprus, to the Vietman War and the Troubles. In the Summer/Autumn 2020 issue of Another Man, which is guest edited by Jo-Ann Furniss (who cites McCullin as her great photographic hero and obsession), the photographer opens up about his images, revealing the stories behind his most personally significant pictures. “I do not want people to walk past one of my pictures without realising,” he says. “They’re meant to stop you and make you look and make you feel.”
It was McCullin’s photographs of the Vietnam War that led him to working with Alexander McQueen, when the designer printed the images on a series of garments in his A/W96 Dante collection. McCullin and McQueen became friends, and the photographer has continued to work with the house by capturing collections in its atelier – pictured here is Sarah Burton’s Spring/Summer 2020 menswear collection for Alexander McQueen. Built around the idea of cutting up traditional tailoring and piecing it back together again, this collection – which was revealed in June of last year – looks back at 90s McQueen and the trips made by the team to Japan during that time.
Nods to 90s McQueen include double-layered jackets which are panelled in different scales of pinstripe, double-dyed black wool gabardine and grey tonic mohair – a signature of that time – and a cotton satin all-in-one. Meanwhile the trips made to Japan appear (among other ways) via dragons, rendered in black jacquard and crystal embroidery.
Most striking in McCullin’s images, though, is the bright fuchsia and the beautiful flowers, which calligraphed from hand-painted artworks created in the McQueen studio, then woven into jacquards on tailoring and printed onto shirting. These pieces – along with the collection more broadly – are infused with that sense of restrained elegance that we’ve come to expect from Burton’s menswear collections for McQueen.