The standout show at Pitti Uomo was, in my mind, Alexander McQueen’s “The McQueensberry Rules”. Where most Milan designers literally translated the gloom of the economic crisis McQueen added a murderous glint to the proceedings with aristocratic eleagance and a glossy nostalgia for a pre-Thatcherite Britain.
Sending models down the catwalk with fingerless gloves, silver-topped canes and darkened, bloodshot eyes it seemed that McQueen had gone the safe route of pairing outlandish styling with conventional clothing, but on closer inspection everything about this collection gave off a menacing whiff.
Referencing some of the most aggressive or manic male archetypes everyone from the majestic to the deranged got a look in. Skinheads’ oxblood 10 hole DMs, teddy boys’ draped jackets combined with Jack the Ripper menace and Clockwork Orange swagger for a collection that was admittedly theatrical but anchored by impeccable tailoring. Trousers were tight, and a strong upper half was emphasised with sharp suit jackets, thick coats and beefy woollens. Chainmail vests, butcher’s aprons and boxing gloves alluded to traditional facets of men in the workplace in a proudly aggressive and vital assertion of masculinity.
Jump through to watch an impressive video of the show, with thunderous music and songs by the Specials and the Stranglers, you can watch part two here.[Image: Olycom SPA/Rex Features]