“I’m a connoisseur of roads. I’ve been tasting roads my whole life. This road will never end. It probably goes all around the world.” – Mike Waters, My Own Private Idaho
The romance of tragic heroes and fallen boys has always held a misguided attraction. We are as desperate to save them from their lonely, drifting lives as we are to join them on their journey, to throw off the chains of convention and take to the highway with them. Not that they would have us, for their journey is theirs and theirs alone. But the fictional promise of their sensitivity, freedom and brokenness continues to pull us down the road behind them.
It is that spirit and loneliness captured by Gus Van Sant in the 1991 cult movie My Own Private Idaho and his 1985 debut feature Mala Noche, which leads the SS17 McQ menswear collection. The characters move through the world in a hazy and dreamlike state, never really belonging anywhere but not really wanting to either. Connections are made with David Bowie’s Berlin years of the late 70s when he was joined by Iggy Pop during a time of getting clean and creative experimentation. Imagined tales of unrequited love, the dynamics of a relationship – both passionate and sinister – infuse the aesthetic, standing out in their oddity; an alluring combination of strength and weakness.
A 90s interpretation of the 70s imbues the collection through silhouette, fabrics and jarring though provocative colour play which plays an integral role. Rose pink combines with crimson red, sienna successfully highlights lilac and leopard. Feminine flourishes – lace overlay t-shirts, floral prints, and softly tactile fabrics – suggest a vulnerability, but they are never taken to the point of fragility due to the confidence and toughness of the shape.
This is a season inspired by the lost and the lonely, but what transpires is a poetic vision that always plays to the romantic and never to the anguished.