Burton remains faithful to McQueen in fashion debut

Tue Oct 5, 2010 5:41pm EDT
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By Astrid Wendlandt

PARIS (Reuters) - Sarah Burton had big boots to fill when she took up Alexander McQueen's mantle in May but she rose up to the challenge with her first solo collection presented at Paris fashion week on Tuesday, critics said.

Burton, who was McQueen's right hand woman before he committed suicide in February, had four months to produce and present a spring/summer collection and many wondered if she would remain faithful to the McQueen spirit and codes.

Which she clearly did.

"I really liked it because what we saw was really McQueen," Alexandra Golovanoff, a well-known Paris-based fashion expert and TV presenter told Reuters.

"This woman is intelligent and respectful of the heritage. She is a little less exuberant than McQueen and that is good. I think what she showed us tonight is encouraging."

Just like McQueen, Burton used unexpected materials.

Striking pieces included a straw dress with rows of sprouting wheat round the waist, a ballgown in ostrich feathers, one in peacock feathers and a short dress made from a collage of fake butterflies, with assorted butterfly-decorated stilettos.

"I thought it was very emotional," said Robert Polet, Chief Executive of Gucci Group, which acquired 51 percent of McQueen 10 years ago. The Gucci Group is part of the French retail and luxury group PPR.   Continued...

<p>Models present creations by British designer Sarah Burton for McQueen as part of her Spring/Summer 2011 women's ready-to-wear collection during Paris Fashion Week October 5, 2010. REUTERS/Pascal Rossignol</p>