by Jeremy Danté

LONDON – it’s funny how things work in high fashion. the market wants to maintain exclusivity with the whole representation of high style & sophistication to follow, but there is also a need to include the middle markets that sit under the high, thus supporting, the upper tiers of the fashion industry. most commonly, when a label gets on & gets in- the objective to further saturate the market is taken. of the alexander mcqueen label; a higher degree of design, theatricality & showmanship has been seen. in the passing of mcqueen himself, i thought there to be a full downshift in creativity; but i was so fucking wrong. reports of sarah burton assuming the role of creative director at the label came fresh off the heels of mcqueen’s passing & doubts were ringing in the ears of fashion spectators. it was almost as if we all held our breath. in a strange twists of fate, the label is seemingly in it’s strongest bout of success yet. with the worldwide spotlight glaringly aimed at the label after burton design the wedding gown of, well, probably the biggest wedding of the millenium- prince william & kate middleton; the label has not once showed any signs of loss, failure to deliver or absent dedication.

in the midst of the role shift, sarah burton has assumed the role impressively & news of another creative director for the mcqueen diffusion line, McQ, had blasted on the fashion headlines around the world. under the direction of burton, pina ferlisi, formely of womenswear label gennara & credited for revamping american retail giant, the gap; was put into place. in ferlisi’s role as director, i had expected her to maintain at a lower level some of what burton had maintained at the labels main line. but in a recurring incident, i was wronged again. admittedly, i had not ever really been impressed by the McQ lines considering that they were subsequently beneath the mcqueen mainline & the diffusion lines advertising & design approach had no fears of remaining on that lower level. created in 2006, the McQ line has been under the direction of ferlisi, whom is directed by burton, since june of 2010 & just this season, i am seeing a radical improvement of quality, concept & design.

the same elements of bondage, medieval garb & royal attire are all represented in the diffusion line for the collection’s pre-fall 2012 set. conceptualized in a much more controlled, commercial form; use of print & mindful attention to textile, hardware & tailoring were seen as cohesion from diffusion to mainline was felt with great ease & unending inspiration. super chic coats, ruffled blouses & belted silhouettes added a stronger sense of connection to burton’s mainline designs both seamlessly & impressively. while consciously avoiding too much showmanship as a commercial collection, the entire collection takes wearable elements & adds that mcqueen magic that many other lines are missing & fuses it to function, style & the everyday consumer. strong collection with very clear direction. the McQ collections are shown off-runway, often presented by look book image & this season, the collection was done in excellent form. while i’ve hated their marketing approach with campaigns, i am hoping that the McQ label can muster up a few more ounces of creativity for their advertising approach to really pack a powerful punch in commercial retail. with the slew of celebrities & fashion wanna-bes flocking to any & everything mcqueen since his passing, much effort is really not needed but it’s nice to see that a juggernaut effort is being taken. hands up to the women of mcqueen- ferlisi & burton for this collection. all around ill.  [source]