It was like a seesaw between pretty and hard, goth and garden party.
Sarah Burton’s Alexander McQueen became hers a long time ago now and yet she is tireless in pushing the house in new and exciting directions. All this without losing any of the essential and distilled “McQueen-ness” and spirit.
She preserves this through a potent brew of McQueen codes like tartan, lace, tailoring and pretty florals all shot through with some seriously hard edge.
The pretty floral prints in the show were based, she said, on the “English Gardens of Great Dixter”, a country house in East Sussex built by Edwin Lutyens. Burton, like Lee McQueen before her, is adept in riffing on the upper classes and their country retreats and the flowers and borders at Great Dixter, informed the washed-out floral prints of many of the dresses at the tonight’s knockout Spring show.
The houndstooth tailored jackets, worn by the men of the house, were magicked into suits with beautifully hung sleeves, fitted waists and rounded, exaggerated hips. Wax hunting jackets were refashioned into a more body-conscious version, trousers and top; and an easy weekend cardigan was hung with heirloom brooches with zips inserted into the sleeves. Much of the above was teamed with Chelsea (bovver) boots with buckles and zips, some with tiny rosebuds in a see-through Perspex heel. It was one of her best shows, jam-packed with ideas, there’s absolutely no doubt about that.
by Richard Gray
Photographs by Jason Lloyd-Evans