Sarah Burton talked of stripping things back to the toile, and of clarity and paring things down. So her show started with a model striding the bare boards of her set wearing the most divine white linen dress: full sleeves, the narrow bodice traces with fagoting and a luxurious amount of fabric in the skirt.
The stories behind the collection are many and rich. Two dresses were hand embroidered, not just by McQueens atelier but by everyone in the office including the HR department. “I love the idea of people having the time to make things together, the time to meet and talk together, the time to reconnect to the world,” said Burton who champions the collective act of creation. One cornflower blue dress featured sketches done by students at a life drawing class held at McQueen’s London store. The mohair sharkskin used for the suiting came from mills in Northern England. She used Irish linen from a female owned farm, and commissioned the light, lustrous linen. (“Beetling” involves covering linen in potato starch and pounding it with a wooden machine for hours). Burton upcycled lace from previous seasons melding it to leather for swashbuckling coats. The clothes were lavished with hand work and were exquisite. The layers of storytelling behind each garment, the human touch, made every piece even more special. It was stripped down but still so rich.
by Claudia Croft