I’ve always been taken by Sarah Burton’s designs for Alexander McQueen. There’s something about the romantic, slightly gothic, allure that gets me every time. For Spring 2016 it was more romantic than gothic and, hell, it was sublime.
Filling the empty space carved by Givenchy on the Sunday evening of Paris Fashion Week, Burton had the tired editors awake for that bit longer to witness a spectacular collection. Inspired by 17th century Huguenot immigrants, the collection had a romantic French air. It was almost utopian despite the struggle faced by religiously persecuted Huguenots. The Huguenot immigrants in London were granted sanctuary by Charles II. Most of them settled in Spitalfields in East London, which became known as ‘weaver town.’ The sobriquet originated from their talent as silk weavers, which helped the textile industry to flourish at the time.
What graced the runway was a slew of dainty white and blush gowns, festooned with ruffles and floral prints. Amidst that were harsher looks, crisp white jackets and trousers toughened up with gunmetal-coloured body-chains and ostentatious earrings. These pieces were commercially inclined but allowed Burton to stay true to both the customer and to herself, creating her best collection to date. It’s a tricky balance, the artisanal aspect to the storied brand and its commercial endeavours. I think Burton masterfully achieves that.
Naturally, sensuality played its part in the collection. Looks 12 to 16 were an ode to 17th century fashion, however, unlike the conservative dressers of that time, hemlines grazed the upper thigh and fabrics were sheer. Tami Williams’ look had an exposed bodice revealing black, lacy lingerie.
I think we’ll all be in agreement when we cast a glance upon the denim looks in the collection. Like Mary Katrantzou, Burton focuses on surface decoration. The denims look present in this collection were lavishly enriched with delicately embellished florals. One top was made entirely out of those rich embellishments. Adding a tattered effect to the lookswere the frays on the jeans and the severs on the jacket. The denim offering was an element of surprise in the collection.
I’ve been slowly compiling my top 10 list of the spring 2016 collections. This splendorous display from Sarah Burton is in my top 2 of the season. From the delicious selection of evening wear, and the vaguely militaristic jackets, the denim and florals. Simply unforgettable. I expect nothing less from Sarah Burton.
Photo Credit: voguerunway.com