This year showcases the best of Sarah Burton’s talent. With Alexander McQueen’s pre-fall collection now in stores, two triumphs are imminent – the superlative dark tailoring she showed in Paris in March, and her impeccable looks for the Princesses of Wales and Charlotte. Fussy coronation attire. This one represents her and her team’s ongoing creative thought process, connecting back to the touchstones in the McQueen archives and pushing them forward.
This season, she exited McQueen’s La Poupee Spring1997 collection—reminiscent of the delicate cuts and slit tailoring of his time. This research has led her to further research into anatomically-focused fabric and leather “peel-backs,” strategically zipped to open or close entire breasts, vertical inserts embedded in pant legs, or used as devices to unfurl skirts .
See for yourself – these pieces are on display at McQueen’s London flagship store – carving a flowing diagonal line or outlining a deep swooping S on the front of a black tuxedo jacket Shaped techno magic in a heavily beaded dress with a stunning back view. Ditto, the McQueen team took embroidery to the extreme—here, jewels and festoons of antique crystals adorned evening gowns, tailored dresses, tailored jackets, black tulle stiletto booties, and handbags.
Still, this is a must-buy collection that can also be folded into softer, more functional pieces. Colors in an orchid pattern (derived from Burton’s studies of Victorian botanical studies) were amplified on a huge gray sweater and played on the corrugated layers of a silk dress. And then, somehow, you can’t help but look at the three easiest items in the store: three McQueen daywear pantsuits, with no cut or trim. You know exactly what type of client they are – including royalties.