Much mystery has surrounded the House of Alexander McQueen since its founder and namesake died by his own hand earlier this year. Although Mrs Burton was named as McQueen’s successor quite soon after the tragedy, the designer has not courted publicity but taken a ‘business as usual’ attitude, creating the pre-collection and one-off bespoke outfits for the likes of Lady Gaga. Today she speaks at length for the first time, to trade magazine WWD.
Speaking about what we can expect from the brand in the future, Sarah explains that the outrageously theatrical catwalk shows will not be one of them, because 'that was very much Lee’s territory — the spectacular show,t the designer said 'In that way, I can’t try and pretend to be Lee.'
The collection left unfinished by McQueen when he died, then completed under Burton
She also sees herself as different to her predecessor in that 'I don’t think [the next collection] has to have as much angst in it. I think it will become softer,' from the McQueen headquarters, complete with an upright polar bear in the lobby(!) 'There will always be this McQueen spirit and essence. But, of course, I’m a woman so maybe more from a woman’s point of view. There’s always got to be some darkness, because otherwise you don’t appreciate what’s light,' she continued. 'I’ve had a training in darkness, but I don’t feel that it’s necessarily a personal thing to me. I’m a bit lighter.'
Lighter? Less macarbre? No big showy shows? Rather than try and pull off an inauthentic photocopy of McQueen’s creative identity, it sounds as if
Another thing that will remain will be McQueen’s incredible techniques of working with textiles and pioneering of new methods. Now
Looks from the pre-S/S '11 collection
Sarah Burton has spent her entire working life at Alexander McQueen. When she joined in 1996, she had yet to graduate from
She recalls how 'I would have to hand in my college projects, but then I would be flying to
It’s now only seven months after McQueen’s untimely death.
Describing her boss, mentor and working ‘husband’ she said 'He was such a lovely man, and his mind never switched off.… He was so important to me. You just wanted to make him happy, look after him'
- Naomi Attwood