How deep and conflicted with nature is the theme of Alexander McQueen for this fall?
Alexander McQueen had such a sad and untimely demise in 2010 but ever since Sarah Burton has taken over the helms of his huge and young empire. Burton’s sense of dress cuts are unique to her – it’s got her imprint on them which is probably why history has been somewhat kinder to her, even though she doesn’t really seem all that revolutionary to break free from McQueen’s shadow.
Burton started out as an assistant to Alexander so was not familiar with the glamour of the fashion industry having spent most of her time in a studio and away from the limelight. Alexander committed suicide in 2010 and he was always well-known for his overtly sensitive attitude – his right hand and friend, Burton took over his empire immediately, with a certain brazen outlook.
Serene, unkempt on the nails, brown earth-ish, poker-straight blonde, with a fringe, blue eyes, Burton gushes a lot about the times Alexander and her would draw side by side. This is a woman who resents the way she looks but has a childlike attitude. Her autumn-winter collection evokes rose petals in silk ruffles that look like they are made of natural colours or striking reds.
This collection is about the circle of nature, with its spinning heights and thunderous emotional defeats. The rose is pretty when blooming and touching when it is withered and old. Burton, unlike McQueen, isn’t fascinated in the beauty of death – she likes to find the beauty in ageing because she views it as such a harsh alternative to bloom. Confined by nature, an ageing woman must also be considered graceful – this is exactly the kind of rules Sarah is busy breaking at the fashion house.
Alexander was a haunted, romantic and emotionally-absorbed young man, and Sarah isn’t that – she is interested in keeping the tradition alive, while Alexander was all about pitiless, eccentric and big designs that you would be quite mad to be seen on the street wearing because they are just that ‘piled up crazy yards of silk’. Sarah likes to be a confidante for women which is why fuss-free clothing is a must for her line. This demure ‘belief in oneself’ is about protection of the vulnerable, emotionally diverse and feminine slants in character.
The somewhat young fashion designer looks at clothes as if they have lives – they have memories, perhaps feelings, are an aspect of a person’s character and their country and it is all among such a titanic collection of memorable creations. Sarah has done simple jackets, leather and lace sheer antique dresses that want men to look at you all the time. These “brazen-slutty, not bold and sexy” point of views reflect in better-than-before sales figures for the fashion house and it is such a feat for a damsel from a little village, close to Manchester.
Born to an accountant and a music teacher she spent her childhood running in fields, with her siblings. She joined the fashion house when Alexander was still grappling with how to give it his own vision and today she is a working woman, who has dilemmas over handling the homelife and a starry career.
Sarah is mother to twin girls and she is strange on people’s behavior towards her: she doesn’t think it’s bad if you are happy doing what you do even if it does not please everybody. As a shy clothes designer, she is approachable to her customers and thinks of new ideas twice a year, not once looking back on the works that came before.