Here at Wonderland, we bloody love McQ. We bloody love Kelela. And we’re more than a little partial to a good drink and a dance too. So when we heard Kelela would be playing the launch party for Swallow, the Pre Fall 16 capsule collection from contemporary McQueen brand McQ, we naturally began outfit planning within the second.
For Pre Fall, McQ re-launches the formerly decorative Swallow collection into something a little more provocative. Remember Alexander McQueen’s iconic S/S 95 show ‘The Birds’, a show that’s widely credited with propelling McQueen onto the international stage? Inspired by the eponymous Hitchcock film, the show established the label’s signature swallow motif across an eerie assortment of tailored separates and dresses.
At last night’s launch, however, we saw the swallow refigured as a verbal motif – raunchy connotations welcomed – and splayed defiantly across sleeveless tees and hoodies. Where it appeared in its emblematic form, it was as a bird/skull hybrid conceived by artist Tom Tosseyn, stamped upon tees, shirts and lambswool knits.
As for the party itself, in collaboration with Warp Records? Hosted at Rough Trade East, the evening exceeded even our lofty expectations. Kelela’s characteristically mesmeric performance amplified our anticipation for her forthcoming debut album to almost unbearable levels – and her monochromatic outfit, comprising a black bodycon midi with white piping plus Chuck Taylors to match, only added to the evening’s fashion inspiration. A DJ set from Darkstar kept the crowd dancing, whilst drinks from Our/London plus a party staple photobooth set proceedings off nicely. In short, we’ll take the full Swallow collection, please (and that Kelela album really wouldn’t go amiss).