Sarah Burton’s absence from Paris Fashion Week was deeply felt. The designer is expecting twin girls and stayed in London, opting for a small presentation in lieu of a show. A mere ten looks appeared on the runway set up at the Opéra Comique, proving that quality of concept (and execution and imagination and transcendent creativity…) beats churned-out quantity. Sarah is not some fashion machine – which is inevitably what happens to so many talented designers. She is an expectant mother and a woman with dreams and notions of romance illustrated in her creations.
I was honored with a firsthand look at the abbreviated collection in their Paris showroom and as it turns out, there is nothing abbreviated about it. Dramatic and queenly, it bursts with the kind of splendor we usually see only in fairy tales. Quintessential religious characters like the angel and pope came into play, materializing in Elizabethan details, fishnet stockings adorned with pearls, and lace for miles. Degraded pearls look divine on perforated leather and faggoting stitching completed the black-leather looks on what Burton calls the “the McQueen nun.”
From the gorgeous ivory hand-frayed gown with triple-bulletting for an excess of volume to the ornate shoes (even for Alexander McQueen) fit for royalty, who needs 50 looks when just a handful is enough to stir your senses? New bags complete the experience: the mini-Heroine bag is just what I have been craving, especially in a myriad of colors – including one topped with small studded pearls. The classic knuckleduster also got the pearly treatment. And I challenge you not to swear by the Bible clutch (say a prayer and hope you get your hands on one!). So much spirit and fantasy leaves me wanting to exclaim, “McQueen, take me away!” Only problem is, I won’t want to come back. McQueen is my religion, and I’m hopefully devoted.