A lot was riding on Resort 2011, the first collection designed entirely by Alexander McQueen's replacement and former head of womenswear, Sarah Burton. Though the designer had been working closely with McQueen since 1996, many wondered how the brand would perform after the loss of its driving talent.
We're happy to report that Burton's first McQueen collection did not disappoint. Though it may not be as surprising or outlandish as what we'd come to expect from the man himself, it holds true to his artistic legacy, and seems to be a natural—and even a more feminine—progression of what we've seen the last few seasons.
Burton's new proportions have a slightly higher waist and softer angles along the edges, as with the beige jacquard suits with round, padded shoulders. We also spotted a few familliar McQueen references: sweeping Japanese-inspired kimonos spackled in gold embroidery; an asymmetrical black cocktail dress with long sleeves layered over a panel of french lace; a sweeping chiffon gown made to look like a burning phoenix in bright crimson—one of McQueen's favorite colors, and an image befitting the circumstances.
Though an important debut (if you can call it one—after all, Burton has been designing with the company for over a decade), her more significant contribution will be made in the spring, when critics won't simply consider whether McQueen still looks McQueen, but if it can survive as an electric force in the fashion industry. After this first showing, we can't wait to see where Burton will take the brand—and our imaginations—in the future.