Paris Fashion Week: Alexander McQueen Spring/Summer 15
Emerging refreshed from a somewhat eerie past season, Sarah Burton uses the exotic charm of the Orient with personal meaning for SS15 – and based this collection on her own treasured items. That would be the antique kimonos and intricate fabric swatches she began collecting back when she started working with Alexander McQueen, often travelling to Japan for work.
Kimonos, cherry blossoms and geisha-esq looks symbolise the rituals of ceremony, obsession, fragile femininity and a quiet power. It was hypnotic and the setting making it seem more so – two giant Marc Quinn orchid sculptures, one male, one female.
Traditional Japanese robe fabrication was made a point of, with Burton actually commissioning materials such as a floral pom-pom lace and engineered silk jacquards for the collection.
We saw them on lantern-sleeve dresses and short pleated skirts – a silhouette which goes against the costumes usually linked to the East, and in fact went against the idea of a kimono being a garment that forces to cover up. "I didn't want it to feel suppressed," said Burton.