Sarah Burton’s gossamer gowns for Alexander McQueen were the stuff of dreams — the sequins and diamante embroideries seemed to hover over the body.
Here was another transporting and hyper-feminine collection from Burton who — though she is expecting her third child in only two weeks — did not ease up on the couture-caliber detail and workmanship.
Backstage, she showed off gauzy dresses in knits as fine as cobwebs; tuberose flowers hand-painted on leather coats and corsets, and feathered skirts made of ostrich plumes that had been lacquered to give them a brooding aspect. “It’s all about nighttime and dreams,” said the designer, who decorated her clothes and accessories with talismans and surreal symbols, including pocket watches, butterflies, horseshoes, lips and eyes.
The show opened with mannish tailored coats with an extra lapel dripping, as if in a Dalí painting, over the shoulder, forming an offbeat sash. Burton seems less comfortable with the tougher side of the McQueen legacy and her tuxedo trousers lashed with satin straps seemed forced.
By contrast, the frothy dresses, ruffles spilling off of shoulders or peeling off the body to reveal lace bras and camisoles, were striking in their delicacy. The show climaxed with tulle gowns and capes gleaming with shooting stars or silvery moons — and then two of the most elaborate bed jackets you will ever see, quilted like a duvet and covered with dense floral embroideries.
After all her labors, Burton should wear one to bed. Sweet dreams are a given.