Few places are as synonymous with knitwear as Scotland. One of those places is Shetland, an island chain to the north of, well, Scotland that is, well, a Scottish territory. One of Shetland’s islands gives its name to Fair Isle sweaters, so clearly the woolen craft is a big deal there.
With her Alexander McQueen collection today, Sarah Burton paid homage to the subarctic islands inhabited by as many sheep as people. Her richly layered knit extravaganza could have been confused for one of Karl Lagerfeld’s métiers d’art collections for Chanel if it weren’t for Burton’s well-placed punk touches, as in a leather biker jacket or a dark tartan suit.
Other than that, these could have been medieval Shetland maidens or brides frolicking about a maypole in their most exquisite finery, a collage of crochet, lace, and embroidery that left very little of the namesake designer’s taste for dark and twisted themes.