Thursday, 10 March 2011

Doing her mentor proud - Sarah Burton shines with her Alexander McQueen fall 2011 RTW collection

“The Ice Queen and Her Court” was the magical title of Alexander McQueen's fall 2011 collection and the show did not fall short of giving us every single ounce of drama we have been craving to see on the catwalks of this year's fashion weeks and instead got so plenty adjacent to them.

Sarah Burton combined the duality of Romanticism - the delicate, light and fragile world of beauty and innocence with the dark, twisted and dangerous side of mysticism.
The venue of the show was La Conciergerie, former royal palace - and prison of crowned heads like Marie Antoinette before her execution- whose gloomy medieval halls had already hosted one of Alexander McQueen's spectacular shows in 2002.

Classic McQueen silhouettes - which Sarah Burton called the "heritage silhouettes" of the brand dominated the collection, yet, their execution was exquisite and had plenty of nouveau elements.
Inuit influenced fur details in stone grey or black that were sewn along hems and cowls, numerous zippers that were carefully integrated into the structure of garments, or alternatively lacing that was enhancing both the cut as well as catering as eye catchers.
Flowy dresses paired with leather harnesses that reminded of a Viking goddess and various types of fur and feathers combined to a harmonious structure of a dress.

The real spectacle of the show however were the skillful honeycomb structures that had been carefully crafted of organza and silk, forming exquisite flouncy skirts and dresses. Another ravishing detail were the elaborate fitted bodices made of mosaic china fragments.

The intricate fabrics and  the blending of soft and hard textures - leather elements were combined with feathers or fur, chiffon was ornated with rivets and a stiff surface of china fragments was combined with the most fragile looking trail of tulle and silk.

The styling comprised of a mixture between Tilda Swinton's appearance as Jadis, the White Witch in the Chronicles of Narnia with her mythical and theatrical beauty and a modern day warrior, which was complemented by the up-does that looked like a helmet formed of barrettes.
Chokers, collars and over knee laced platform boots mitigated the delicate look and gave it some edge of the real world.
A collection that would be fit for a costume designer and one that convinced the last skeptic that Sarah Burton was an excellent choice to perpetuate the challenge in succeeding Alexander Lee McQueen's reign at his eponymous brand.

The exquisite garments with their dark romantic touch that would have done Hans Christian Andersen - author of the fairy tale "The Snow Queen" proud.


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