British designer Alexander McQueen makes his Target debut Wednesday with a punk-inflected collection that riffs on his youthful McQ secondary line.
It's the first offering of the chain's Designer Collaborations program, which builds on the string of sell-out successes of its Go International design partnerships with (then) up-and-coming designers Thakoon, Proenza Schouler, Luella and the now-defunct Jovovich-Hawk. This time around, experience counts -- McQueen has been creative director of his own house for nearly a decade.
McQueen's muse for the new collection was Liela Moss, who fronts the British indie-rock band the Duke Spirit and whose visage -- a cross between Kim Gordon and Nico -- adorns the line's T-shirts. McQ Alexander McQueen for Target definitely seems to be aimed at young women who still hit the gigs nightly, with punky graphic tees ($22.99) and pink and black zigzag print leggings ($29.99). Continuing the punk references, studs show up on $44.99 gray drainpipe jeans and a matching $59.99 denim jacket, a $39.99 shirt dress and one of the most expensive items, a $129.99 black leather vest.
For McQueen fans, there are just enough of the designer's greatest hits to justify hitting the racks. His trademark hourglass shape shows up here on a rockabilly-inspired $79.99 strapless blue dress with a tattoo print. A one-shoulder $49.99 black dress cut on the bias has a familiar bubble-skirt hem, and a $49.99 tiger-print pink silk shift dress echoes the designer's current spring collection. But the harness tops ($22.99) and dresses ($44.99) don't have enough of McQueen's trademark tough chic, and they resemble too many other styles out there. Ditto for the mesh wrap dress ($49.99).
The basics in black, good for another season or two, include a $49.99 cropped blazer, $29.99 sleeveless blouse, $49.99 high-waisted full skirt and $59.99 jumpsuit. A $44.99 cobalt zip-shoulder mesh sweater looks versatile enough to go from work to a show at the Echoplex, if paired with the $29.99 zip leggings instead of pants.
The verdict: Set your alarm. You can get a great McQueen outfit or two for less than the price of the designer's popular $260 skull-print scarves.