Fresh off the back of my recent trip to Paris for the Spring Summer 2016 shows, I was honoured this season to view Sarah Burton’s genius up close. On the eve of her five year anniversary at Alexander McQueen, where upon Burton had completed an entire collection under her full creative direction, one can only imagine the sense of anticipation, excitement and trepidation that she may have been experiencing. When the first look entered the runway it was clear to see that this would be a collection about beauty, intricacy and above all femininity.
During a post-show briefing I was lucky enough to speak intimately with Burton’s team to garner an in-site into the collection and the narrative behind it. Inspiration for the pieces came from certain elements fundamental to the Alexander McQueen history, but additionally drew from a particular group of 17th century silk weavers from East London. Long etherial dresses woven in the most delicate silk with panels of broken down lace, alluded to the that of mythical beings who had perhaps voyaged through the traps of time. Body chains decorated with the most intricate miniscule silver spiders and signature motifs, alongside the fairy floss halo-ed hair compelled the audience to conjure visions of figures who had run through the forest and been entangled in the undergrowth. Most of these characteristics stemming from Burton’s love of nature and the English countryside.
With so much beauty and detailing one may have suggested that such an etherial collection could appear overly romantic but the effect was otherwise. A sense of strong femininity was woven through-out and this was just what the designer had us imagining. It would only seem appropriate the the collection would embody all of these qualities in full spirit, and I’m sure that Mr Lee Alexander McQueen would be proud ..