Liberated ladies. Creative director Sarah Burton took her inspiration from Forties workwear and the next generation’s flower children. She alluded to World War II factory girls with great riffs on uniforms: Nipped-waist jackets done in thick cotton, which was often distressed or flocked, had signature McQueen peplums, exaggerated utility pockets and military belts. On the bottom were trousers, short skirts and high-waisted shorts, all belted low on the hips for a trompe l’oeil bumster effect. The robust take on elevated utilitarian turned sweet and sexy with apron dresses worn with layered cotton poplin underskirts edged in broderie anglaise.
Using the workwear silhouette as a through-line, Burton moved the collection into late-Sixties/early-Seventies territory, showing raw-edged denim patchwork catsuits and pantsuits, as well as looks replete with fabulous haute hippie embellishment. Cropped, flared pants were embroidered with a summer meadow’s worth of bright flowers, and for evening, Burton’s free spirit was ready to seduce in a stunning halter gown done in an elaborate patchwork of delicate ivory macramé. Around its collar was a choker of embroidered flowers that fell into a neckline that plunged well below the navel.