The air changes as the lights go low and the first model appears on the runway of a McQueen show. A mutual silence and humbling nature settles upon the audience, not unlike churchgoers ready to pay their penance, because for the fashion set, McQueen is religion. Creative Director Sarah Burton breathes life into the late Lee McQueen’s legacy with each new collection, all the while owning her individual influences which rely heavily on the mystics of nature, the mysteries of forgotten lands and the sacred practices of secret religions. There is nothing more magical and transporting than a McQueen show, and Burton continued her wizardry in Paris with her Fall ’17 presentation.
Inspiration for her latest collection was derived from a trip to Cornwall, in the South of the United Kingdom. This ancient land is dotted with ruins from medieval churches and old stone structures, where people tie rags and ribbons around the branches of trees to symbolize well wishes and memories. These mementos were evident in the beginning of Burton’s collection, as pink, white and black ribbons dangled from belts and sleeves, and were woven into patterns through hard black leather and soft patchwork dresses. There was an air of modernity that came through with several black suits, belted at the waist with baggy pants and tuxedo stripes. The stand out coats from the collection were cropped leather moto jackets lined with fluffy plumes of pink and red fur, sure to be seen on editors and influences around the globe. And as we wait with baited breath, the finale dresses appear one by one, each one embroidered with couture mastery. Delicate lace and sheer coverings adorn the ethereal models in shades of white, black and glistening sliver with the most appropriate skin showing cut outs, there is nothing gratuitous here, just pure romance. Sunbursts and other mystical symbols have been sewn into the delicate fabrics, telling a long forgotten tale, while feathers dance around the feet and hands of the walking models. Burton’s team even embroidered one gown with McQueen’s name and birthdate, paying homage to the master that came before her, while the world sighs with respect for the current mastery that is bestowed upon Burton’s own hands.
Written by LIZ KRAMSKY
Photos by IGOR MOSKALENKO
Visual Editor OLGA SEREKINO