Alexander McQueen F/W 2015

The democracy of uniforms

It was all about the uniform though certainly not uniformity at Alexander McQueen men’s on Sunday afternoon, where multiple military moods wafted through the whole collection. Various regiments, armies and ranks often co-mingled in the same ensemble – most notably in a trio of bravura redingotes, composed above the torso like four-pocket Eisenhower jackets. Made in bottle green jacquards and mottled black they had great zest.

Eisenhower coat by Sarah Burton, Alexander McQueen
Eisenhower coat by Sarah Burton

Designer Sarah Burton’s opening looks set the agenda, especially a pair of handsome steel gray double breasted coats – trimmed vertically and horizontally with the words Honour and Valour in five-inch high lettering. Though the best looks were Edwardian gents frock coats, so somber they looked custom made for a state funeral. It all seemed uncannily apt for the current moment in Europe, and a day when 1.5 million people marched in the anti-terror rally in Paris.

Military insignia embroidered coats for the finale, Alexander McQueen
Military insignia embroidered coats for the finale

Sashes – in satin, velour or cording cut this way and that on snazzy red tartan or floral motif suits that mimicked tartan and plaid. From State of India seven-point stars medallions to officer’s shoulder loops they mood was martial. A feeling heightened by the location – a former fire station with antique fire engines located across the Thames from the Houses of Parliament.

In German we call this: Hochwasser Alexander McQueen
In German we call this: Hochwasser

“Uniforms are by definition democratic, since by making men look alike they hide class distinctions,” explained Burton quietly in the somber backstage, as her soldierly models disrobed before departure on another fashion maneuver.

Military mood at McQueen, Alexander McQueen
Military mood at McQueen