We’ve said it before but it bears repeating, We LOVE what Sarah Burton has done with Alexander McQueen. It is such a remarkable fusion of the late predecessor’s vision and Sarah’s own unique talent and individuality. It’s almost as if she has been channeling Alexander when standing in front of her mannequins, ready to design. If anything, Sarah’s womanly touch has brought the line a little more accessibility.
Burton, along with Chanel and Givenchy, chose an aquatic theme but her creatures of the sea were much more like Goddesses than the others. “It’s all about Gaia, the wonder of nature, the sea.” said Sarah as dresses constructed of encrustations of beading and mother-of-pearl, rivulets of microscopic pleats, filigrees of leather, cascades of ruffles, and miles of lace were painstakingly peeled off models by a phalanx of dressers.
The collection’s quality has not slipped one iota from the days when Alexander was at its helm. In fact, this show, with all its allusions to coral, sea anemones, barnacles, frondy seaweed, silvery mother-of-pearl, and bone-white seashell, was practically at the level of a Parisian couturier.
This funny story says a lot of how adored Sarah Burton is in the fashion world – after the show, only her 3rd solo collection, Emmanuelle Alt, editor of French Vogue, first backstage—ahead of a 200-strong throng of congratulators—went down on her knees and pawed the ground in front of Sarah Burton, laughing, “Thank you!” Indeed, the props were well deserved.
Givenchy, another designer with an aquatic theme for his Spring/Summer collection, claimed surfers and mermaids as influences, but we’ve never known any of either species to be as chic and sexy as Givenchy’s models were. There was no denying the sex appeal of Riccardo Tisci’s jackets that were sharp and soft at the same time, with strong, confident shoulders, and, for contrast, suggestive, undulating lapels and come-hither peplums trimmed not in leather but eel skin, shark, or stingray. The high low of many of his skirts showed much of the models legs while maintaining the length. Leaving the viewer to decide whether the silhouette was naughty or nice.
The collection’s overall impression of strength was balanced with a femininity that came from the play of softly fluted volumes in peplumed jackets and intricately pieced dresses made of white lace and chiffon.
Marc Jacob’s Spring/Summer collection for Louis Vuitton was the first time we could seriously see him replacing John Galliano at Christian Dior (as the rumor mill has it). His technique and craftsmanship has never looked stronger,and it seems he has developed a devotion to them.
Broderie anglaise was used for exaggerated Vandyke collars, and as insets replacing the alternate diamonds on an Argyle knit. It perforated stiff little faille skirt suits and separates made from leather treated to look like scrunched-up sheets of cartridge paper. Matte crocodile coats were painstakingly hand-pieced together so that the scales match and an eggshell lacquer bag made with the assistance of the last man in Paris still in command of the 1920’s technique will be in high demand.
Jacobs captured the mood of ironically exaggerated femininity that has swept the runways perfectly. There was an abundant use of eyelet lace forming fields of daisies and to soften the effect even more, these pieces were veiled in sugar-almond-colored organza layers or misted with shaded ostrich-feather fronds.
The last of the models has walked the catwalk for Spring/Summer 2012 and we will leave you with these last parting shots as we prepare to shift our gears back to Fall/Winter 2011.
Top section: Alexander McQueen Spring/Summer 2012.
Middle section clock wise from top left: 1-3 Givenchy Spring Summer 2012, 4-6 Louis Vuitton Spring Summer 2012
Bottom section: Row 1 – Dries Van Noten Spring/Summer 2012, Row 2 – Yves St. Laurent Spring/Summer 2012, Row 3 – Chanel Spring/Summer 2012.