An earthy majesty defines Sarah Burton’s work for Alexander McQueen. It’s raw, intimate and inspired by Britain’s rich pagan past.
For spring, Burton and her design staff visited several hallowed shrines of British paganism, including Silbury Hill and Avebury Stone Circle, sites where humans left indelible marks on nature, and where now, hundreds of years later, the two forces seem indelibly joined. She came away with a new take on her compelling, long-running heroine. “She’s always pagan, I suppose,” Burton said backstage, “rooted to the ground, rooted to the earth.” She is also typically self-sufficient, determined and powerful in her femininity, yet vulnerable, too, a concept that strikes a deep chord in our fractured world. Often, she projects an archetypal warrior goddess whose strength and gentleness manifest in unison, via, on one hand, strict tailoring, corsetry and harnesses, and on the other, gentle dresses with a look of ancient-world dishabille.
For spring, Burton focused on “a woman’s journey, the moments that she experiences in life, so birth, christening, sisterhood, motherhood, friendship. The idea of expressing feelings and being empowered by emotion and vulnerability.” All while being exquisitely turned out.
Burton is the reverse of the ready-to-wear designers who show during couture; she is
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