Sarah Burton Skilfully Carries Alexander McQueen’s Legacy Forward
For anyone who’s been following fashion for at least a decade will remember where they were when they heard about the passing of legendary designer Alexander McQueen, arguably this generation’s most prolific creative force.
And although there will never be another McQueen, there is nobody other than his long-term assistant and the former head of design for womenswear at the brand, Sarah Burton, who could’ve taken the reins mere months after his death.
Nine years later and Burton is still flying the McQueen flag high. From her seasonal design masterpieces to spearheading the development and growth of all the label’s collections, Burton has managed to do at McQueen what no other designer would’ve been able to achieve.
The Alexander McQueen store in The Dubai Mall
And the creative director is powering on, as can be seen by the brand’s new flagship store in London, as well as at the recently opened retail space at The Dubai Mall’s Fashion Avenue, making the latter only the second store in the world to embody Burton’s new design concept in collaboration with Chilean architect Smiljan Radic.
The outcome of the creative partnership is a sight to behold. Walking through the mostly wood-clad store, among shelves and racks stacked with McQueen must-haves, are mannequins donning some of the super-stylish fits. The luxury shopping space as you know it has become an immersive experience.
The store is filled with classic McQueen references – like nature – that are central to the ethos of the brand. The dressing rooms are constructed out of draped fabrics, and these will change each season, transforming the mood to represent current collections. All elements are made in the brand’s studio under the creative direction of Burton and her team.
Along with the new London flagship on Old Bond Street comes the official opening of a new McQueen experiential space on the top floor. The dedicated area was especially created with the idea of giving back to inspiring design students, becoming a location to host exhibitions, talks and events.
Take a look at “Unlocking Stories” below, the first of these experiences that provided open access to the entire creative process behind the spring/summer 2019 collection that you're seeing in stores now.
This is Burton’s vision coming to life. And thanks to her, McQueen’s legacy is in safe – and extremely talented – hands.
Credit: Chloé Le Drezen
Credit: Chloé Le Drezen
Credit: Chris Moore