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Paris Fashion Week – Alexander McQueen 2011

Paris Fashion Week continues on with some of the most dynamic shows in the fashion biz. Critics were sharply focused on one designer in particular this season Sara Burton. After the passing of premiere designer and fashion’s bad boy “anti” designer Alexander McQueen, all eyes have been on his good friend and successor Burton who took over the pressure filled job of filling his shoes so to speak.

I cannot imagine how terribly hard it would be to deal with the death of your friend and simultaneously pick up where he left off to create the latest in his signature line. Thank goodness I am not a designer and I will never find out.

But Burton infused the perfect blend of McQueens esthetic and her own softer side together to create a beautiful homage. 

In an exclusive interview with WWD last week, she characterized herself as “a bit lighter” than McQueen.

Al I can say is … Bravo! The softer side came through gently, but unmistakably, from the first look. The entire lineup, was full of silhouettes that were either crystal clear McQueen or clearly related to his vision. The tailcoat and pants, were a signature throughout, but made from layers of raw-edged silk that lent structure and softness. 

Burton’s collection brought a tenderness to the nonspecific “pagan” idea. The girls’ faces were pale and the braided and intricate hair set the semi-wood nymph tone, as did ample references to nature. McQueen was never one to give a boring show, in fact a seat at a McQueen soiree’ was likely to be more like theater than a fashion gig. Burton managed to keep the sense of unexpected delight throughout.

A few cotton lace dresses that had the look of old tablecloths were given crocheted overlays; other eye-catching pieces were crafted from hand-painted feather butterflies and intense black leather leaves. And may I say the gowns were spectacular, from silk chiffon, to an explosion of delicate feathers, and complicated billowy multihued textures were stunners. Other looks were crafted from corn silk and what actually looked like little sheathes of wheat. Perhaps a reference to a new harvest…a rebirth, renewal….. Either way, the collection was clearly a personal labor of love.

Burton definitely established herself as a worthy successor to carry on the brand and make the house of McQueen proud.

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