Everybody’s talking about Sarah Burton – do you know about her? Even if you don’t quite remember her, we are 99% confident you have seen her designs. Her name made it to the news because the designer announced she was going to step down from her role as creative director for Alexander McQueen after 10 years of work. What will happen to the brand? Who is going to be the next creative director? What are Burton’s plans for the future? These questions are yet to be answered – and we will be watching out for the news. In today’s digest, let’s dive into Sarah Burton’s creative career. Keep scrolling!
Sarah Burton was the only assistant of legendary Alexander McQueen. After McQueen’s untimely death, it made perfect sense she was assigned to take over the creative director role, as she was the closest person in the brand to McQueen and could continue his legacy.
Under her lead, the brand had been releasing beautiful collections, but Burton was often bashed for the lack of experimentation and originality – critics even called her designs boring. Sarah Burton was dealt difficult cards, as the brand was the essence of Alexander McQueen’s genius and vision. Some even joke that any fashion designer should always doubt their brilliant ideas and make sure McQueen hadn’t come up with them first.
In the early days of being a creative director, Burton continued to develop the ideas she and McQueen had been working on together and tried her best to maintain the brand’s DNA. Her first collection (SS 2011) got a warm welcome and was called one of the most successful debut collections in fashion history. She was inspired by how women are very much similar to elves. Burton used McQueen’s favorite details: elaborate embroidery, gold, draping, feathers, punk black leather, and fire print.
The most significant piece from the collection was the feathered gown. The feathers were hand-colored to resemble the wings of the monarch butterfly. The dress famously appeared in the Hunger Games movie and is now kept in the Costume Institute of MET.
Sarah Burton designed one of the most famous wedding dresses for Kate Middleton. After this success, the Duchess of Cambridge and Sarah Burton continued to collaborate. The most recent example was the dress Kate Middleton wore for the coronation of Charles III.
In general, Sarah Burton’s creations were more safe and commercially successful than McQueen’s, but her designs often became bestsellers. The gorgeous suit from the FW 2019 collection is among them. The suit was worn by many top celebrities and copied by mass-market retailers. Cate Blanchett wore the suit twice.
Burton made beautiful men’s collections. They were influenced by McQueen’s legacy the most. The most vivid example of that is the reference to the oyster dress in the SS 2022 men’s collection.
Sarah Burton created costumes for Beyonce’s already legendary Renaissance World Tour. The Alexander McQueen brand curated more than ten outfits for the singer.
It is easy to admire and praise geniuses. And we can also get inspired by their creative courage. For example, dare to take Vikisews sewing patterns from the latest collections and create a stylish outfit for any season.
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