McQueen Lives

March 9th, 2011 by HFL Staff received Comments Off

Sarah Burton definitely isn’t shying away from the weight of legacy she’s inherited. Her venue was La Conciergerie, Marie Antoinette’s prison and the site of an Alexander “Lee” McQueen show that was made memorable by the presence on the catwalk of live wolves.

No such threat of danger tonight, though the crackling neon lights were a reminder of McQueen’s asylum show and the theme—”The Ice Queen and her court”—had the suitably chilly ring of a vintage McQueen ritual.

The collection furthermore drew on what the show notes called “heritage silhouettes.” What this all boiled down to was Burton skimming off the top of her vast reconceptualization of the house aesthetic to produce three dozen couture pieces reflecting that aesthetic at its purest. Literally.

As in white-light burning bright. In the frenzied backstage press of congratulations, the designer could barely gasp one word to define her intent: “Icy.” But it wasn’t really that cold. What Burton designed had a blurry-edged softness, which came from the fur that lined hems, cuffs, and shoulder seams.

Still, these were scarcely clothes for the real world. That wasn’t really the point. It felt much more like Burton wanted to remind the planet that she isn’t channeling the McQueen DNA, she is the McQueen DNA. The most (quietly) spectacular piece was a gown with a body collaged from broken china, which erupted into a froth of organza.

McQueen himself might have injected an edge of barely suppressed violence into such a piece. Here, serenity ruled. Which, in the interests of future princesses everywhere, is probably a wise option.

Hilary Alexander, Anna Wintour and Suzy Menkes

Naomi Campbell

Posted under: Fashion

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