Arguably the most highly anticipated show of the season, the Alexander McQueen Spring 2011 collection marked the first major runway show for the house since the designer took his own life last February.
Designed by Sarah Burton, who worked alongside McQueen for fourteen years, the collection was by all accounts a resounding success.
One cannot even begin to imagine the scrutiny and pressure that Burton has been under, but she delivered on everything she promised.
Burton stuck to McQueen’s signature aesthetic, while bringing in a softer, more feminine touch.
The collection opened with a trio of all-white looks before progressing into darker, more structured pieces.
The couture-like details included elaborate embroidery, crocheted overlays, and hand-painted feather butterflies. Stand out pieces included a gown made of pheasant feathers, and another made of black leather leaves.
Even the shoes – while not as exquisitely original as the Armadillo ones favored by Lady Gaga and Daphne Guinness – were equally dazzling with their complex butterfly and fringe detailing.
Burton succeeded in doing what seemed to many impossible. She paid homage to one of the world’s most legendary designers by keeping the core of the brand in tact, while crafting pieces that brought new ideas and a new perspective to the table.
The designer summarized it best when she remarked about her collection: “I don’t think it has to have as much angst in it. I think it will become softer. There will always be this McQueen spirit and essence. But, of course, I’m a woman, so maybe this is more from a woman’s point of view. There’s always got to be some darkness, because otherwise you don’t appreciate what’s light. I’ve had a training in darkness, but I don’t feel that it’s necessarily a personal thing for me. I’m a bit lighter.”