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posted: 1/9/2014 5:45 AM

McQueen shows dark, brooding menswear in London

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  • A model wears a design created by Alexander McQueen during London Collections for Men Autumn/Winter 2014 in London.

    A model wears a design created by Alexander McQueen during London Collections for Men Autumn/Winter 2014 in London.
    Associated Press

By Sylvia Hui, Associated Press

LONDON -- Subdued plaids, long double-breasted coats, and lashings of black and leather: Alexander McQueen's latest menswear offering is as dark and brooding as the stormy London weather outside.

The label's catwalk Tuesday, shown in a darkened chapel as part of London's menswear collection presentations, was all about black paired with silver or gold accents, sharp tailored suits, and minimal geometric shapes. Skinny trousers were layered with kilts and skirts, and an occasional pink and black plaid outfit provided a burst of color. But the overall mood was severe and understated.

"I liked the simple graphic ideas, the references to post-punk. I liked how it was simple and dark," said Nick Sullivan, fashion director for American Esquire magazine. "It felt very London."

Seemingly simple designs delivered big impact. Lines and stripes from a bold square pattern, first appearing on a monochrome turtleneck jumper, become patchwork accents on the shoulders of gray tailored jackets. Pleats placed at the backs of coats livened up otherwise strait-laced pieces. Flowing leather coats and clunky platform boots provided a punk edge.

The label is better known for its womenswear, but McQueen himself famously started his career in fashion as an apprentice at Savile Row, home to London's most revered tailors.

The designer committed suicide in 2010, and the label has since been helmed by his longtime collaborator Sarah Burton.

The brand is showcasing at London men's collections, which split from the main twice-yearly womenswear fashion week several seasons ago.

Other designers also unveiling their menswear this week include U.S. label Tom Ford and British luxury goods label Burberry, as well as traditional British tailoring brands Hardy Amies, Hackett London, and Gieves and Hawkes.

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