PFW: Alexander McQueen, a medieval muddle
Designer Sarah Burton looked to pagan landscapes of medieval England for inspiration this season, but the results were more reminiscent of a Caribbean pirate's girlfriend.
The show opened archly with a score of stagehands pulling up a series of hangings to fully revealed a sticky anthracite catwalk. Upon this marched young ladies in stiff black leather dresses – many riddled with red string. Burton also presented a series of heavy looking knit dresses with ruffles worthy of a barmaid in a beer all during Oktoberfest.
The house did debut a new series of handbag – where the extravagant lacing and eyelets made far more sense than when used on the actual clothes in this collection.
Conversations with major department store buyers before the show underlined their concerns about the house's design direction. They all applaud the frequent beauty of Sarah Burton's imagination. However, the product has been a complicated sell in recent years – due to overly stiff fabrics, an overabundance of lace and a steep retail price. One could understand their concerns watching this show unfold.
That said, an octet of floor-length tulle dresses at the final were truly beautiful – finished in patchwork satin-stitched medieval flora or embroidered with old alchemy illustrations, they were a welcome reminder of Burton's enormous talent. However, they were not enough to save the fall collection, the least distinguished we have ever seen from this house.
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