Alexander McQueen Haute Couture Spring Summer 2011:
The mood at the Alexander McQueen Spring Summer 2011 show was that of nervousness and excitement (mostly my own). Though this was not the first fashion collection that Sarah Burton has designed for the late Alexander McQueen (she put together the 2011 Resort collection that some titled a let down). Even though the expectations were sky high for the soul of the line to return, any fashionista, blogger or editor can tell you that Mr.McQueen’s are perhaps the largest shoes to fill in the fashion world…. and let’s face it, if the show was half as good as an Alexander McQueen Haute Couture show it would be considered a smashing success.
As light flooded the stage there was something missing… severe theatricality. Modestly staged with uneven planks of wood that were warped and separated by moss the feelings were that of nature and tranquility. The show began with a gentile tailed coat in white satin that had instead of the typical strong pronounced shoulders they were slashed open forcing grace and subtlety. The tailed coat has been a staple in McQueen’s past collections and I was overwhelmed to and alighted to see it on the runway here in Paris (it’s just nice to know that the spirit of the collection lives on).
At this point the fashion collection started to take life and the inspirations became clear. Strong feminine forces both Bohemian and Pagan in spirit started to dance across the stage with black leaf like feathers, gold bouillon corsets and flowing silks braced with ornate Obe belts. Feathers from Pheasants were shown aside black dyed Peacock feathers. There were also these truly amazing little hand-painted feather monarch butterflies on one outfit that made up the oversized collar.
Classic McQueen signatures were rampant on the Paris runway, with a sea of snake print jersey, dip dyed hand pleated organza, and lace dripping with diamonds. An extravagant gold painted cream chiffon gown with a shapely exaggerated hip seemed to touch on the origins of the collection and it’s on going evolution.
The final breathtaking gown consisted of a bodice handmade entirely of lavender feathers that encased Nimue Smit (of WOMEN models) from high on the neck to the beautifully tailored princess cut sleeves to a slim waist and then onto a (VERY) full skirt made of a million tiny tendrils that moved with every graceful step on the runway. At this point the audience, as well as myself knew that this was it! She; Sarah Burton… was it.
As my favorite designer once said:
"If you ask any lady they want to be taller, they want to be slimmer, you know, and they want a waist. I’m not here to make people look like a sack of potatoes.” ~Alexander McQueen
Sarah Burton certainly will not let the future clientele of Alexander McQueen fashion collections look like a sack of potatoes so I am overjoyed to announce my appreciation of this first Spring Summer Haute Couture collection for Alexander McQueen under the direction of Mrs. Burton.
Sarah Burton has been a protégé of McQueen for over 15 years. She obviously has the vision and emotional connection to the soul of the line as shown here in Paris.