Wednesday, 9 March 2011

Fit for a future McQueen

Last night, within the permeating grounds of La Concierge, Sarah Burton baptized her collection in a feathery lightness, fulfilling a promise to feminine grace but still carrying soulful mourning with each step across the catwalk. Her presentation ethereally loosened the grip of  Alexander Lee McQueen's demons, enlightening his soul and dignifying his memory without reviving the ghost.

Exhibiting an effervescent icy white palette, the audience felt chills, foregoing a cold, glacier demeanour. Her antiquated, luminescent shades, embodied by couture-like suits, followed long lean motions driven by faultlessly aligned zips which reeled out to become a regulated fan of short kicking pleats. Stylishly poignant, her predecessor's magnetism towards birds effortlessly glided over the hems of tailored pieces but lessened the structural hold on plumage, to fight for a soft frothiness, appearing to be carried by doves.

Struggling to fend off the darkness,  purified crystal white graduated into slate grey and smoky black, while an aura of restrained freedom slowly enveloped. Lengthy, straggling furs prepared to primitively engross the female form, only to be suddenly arrested by neat tweeds and the emergence of bondage apparel. Although, crediting a typically McQueen slant, these pieces fell sensually without past attributed aggressions;  leather leggings and abdomen harnesses did not intrusively arrest movement but rather delicately imprisoned and defended the model's frame. In addition, despite being tightly contoured, corsetry lightly followed the curves of the body and was graciously appeased by airy sheers that were wolfishly frayed.

In what had begun as a controlled colour scheme, infiltrating white pieces fended through darkness as an artistic portrayal of Burton's internal contest for creative control, with bespoke tulip dresses ultimately commencing a procession of finale gowns. Ornately laced and adorned with immaculate embroidery, they moved gracefully like a choir of angels in celestial shades of white, distilled with a flocculent lavender design. At an enthralling climactic high, wedding-dresses, whose exaggerated architecture brought to mind "heritage silhouettes",  were beseeched with aristocratic embellishment, effortlessly pouring into a waterfall of tulle and hand pleated chiffon. However, as a personal highlight, one piece elevated above the crowd of dresses; a broken glass corselet applied to a cap sleeved bodice, epically gathered light within its mosaic and cascaded into an avalanche of whipped organza skirting, spilling into a supple, flowing train- unbearably breath-taking.

Admitedly, Sarah Burton's  savagely serene collection did little to dispell rumours regarding royal wedding dress designs, but rather awarded herself justifiable candidature for the proposed assignment, proving capabilities as a creator, innovator, visionary and heiress to a thriving legacy.

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