Since Sarah Burton first took over the task of channeling the Alexander McQueen spirit into this line, she has done an unprecedented job. First the line was tinged with sorrow over the beloved designer’s death and Burton lightened it up. Colors and textures, though true to the McQueen shapes and motifs, were visibly lighter and gentler. But 3 full seasons and a royal wedding behind her belt, Burton is now obviously much freer to express what Lee McQueen infused into his iconic designs. It is being said she is giving it a woman’s touch. I disagree. This is a design touch. She is subtly moving this brand away from the macabre. Sarah is not full of the angst that plagued McQueen and that naturally comes out in her collections. She has the incredible talent of intimately knowing what the late designer would do, how he designed, shapes and balance he incorporated into clothing, and that propensity to push apparel beyond its meager purpose of adorning the body. She knows how he spoke through his design. But with the SS2012 collection there is a side that is full of life. Burton took her inspiration from the underwater aquatic world. She employed shapes and forms of sea creatures and injected fantasy. Fabrics and leathers were the medium used to represent suspended sea urchin tentacles, waving seaweeds, and the baleen of whales. Coral, which was a prominent color, was recreated and formed entire bodices and fringed gowns. Details were immeasurably incredible, and they were everywhere. This collection was a mammoth undertaking to create. And a mammoth undertaking to present. This is the place where Sarah Burton does not have the McQueen vision. Yet. Perhaps time and money for the brand (alas we all know) hindered the creativity of the Fashion “stage”. Or perhaps this is an area that Burton will reach into in the future of her propitious career.
All photos are courtesy of Style.com