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Memories of Alexander McQueen – In Every Collection

By Guan Tan


The fashion industry is a remarkably poignant one. It pines and mourns over late colleagues, year on year. Memories are diligently kept alive, and likewise bygone personalities. The late Alexander McQueen is one of them. Come every February on his death anniversary, fashion insiders post their thoughts of him on private Instagram accounts. Come every season when Sarah Burton's collections for the label Alexander McQueen are unveiled, they see traces of the late designer. 

The codes of a fashion house are the personality of its first designers. Any designer who takes over the baton assumes this person. 

In the most recent Spring Summer 2018 menswear collection, revealed in June this year, all these motifs were crystal clear. The codes of the brand Alexander McQueen are tailoring, punk, theatre and an overarching sense of rebellion. 



Tailoring – sharp double-breasted suits with peaked lapels and the Prince of Wales check. These called out to McQueen's career's beginnings in London's Savile Row. He was trained in making suit jackets at Anderson & Sheppard and trousers at Gieves & Hawkes. The Prince of Wales check – the late designer reportedly claimed he drew graffiti on the inner lining of a jacket meant for the Prince of Wales. Yet, there have been speculations that he was joking around and didn't actually do it. 

The unmistakable scarlet in this collection was also the colour of one of McQueen's most memorable collections, his Fall 1998 womenswear show. The show culminated in a red-eyed woman, whom McQueen called the 'Joan of Arc', engulfed in a fire ring. 

Punk came in the form of leather jackets, trousers and hardware. It calls to the late designer's life steeped in London's vivacious subculture. 

There are traces of the late designer in every of Burton's collection for the brand. From the first to the last look, it's as if it's a full biography of the late "enfant terrible". For those who followed his work, it's heartwarming yet simultaneously anguishing. But maybe this is the magic of fashion, that a man's life could be relived over and over again – kept alive, decades after another. 


Filmmaker: Masha Vasyukova
Music: Ricardo Tobar
Models: Willow Barrett, Benjamin Lessore and Chris Diena
Location: London

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