Alexander McQueen sees feminine strength for spring

Tue Oct 4, 2011 7:15pm EDT
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By Alexandria Sage

PARIS (Reuters) - With faux feathers and cascades of ruffles, Alexander McQueen brought fantasy and femininity to the runway on Tuesday, while still hewing to the fashion label's edgy, dark side for spring.

Creative Director Sarah Burton presented a show-stopper in the best tradition of the theatrical brand, mixing up flirty skirts that flounced at the knee with harder-edge military details like epaulets, high collars and armor-like bodices.

Burton -- once the label's head of women's' design before the 40-year-old McQueen committed suicide last year at his London home -- has been riding a wave of notoriety since her design of Kate Middleton's wedding dress this spring.

The Gothic-inspired ivory satin and lace affair with a 2.7 meter-long train garnered raves and focused an international spotlight on Burton and the Alexander McQueen line.

"What you saw tonight, the brilliance behind the fantasy and the beauty of the show has nothing to do with that," said actress Salma Hayek after the show, referring to the now-infamous wedding dress.

"I think she's already moved on from that. It's gone somewhere else. It was very unexpected. It was amazing."

Hayek is the wife of the chief executive of the PPR Group, Francois-Henri Pinault, whose stable of brands include Yves Saint Laurent, Gucci, Balenciaga and Stella McCartney.

Using colours of buttery ivory, gold, salmon and violet, Burton somehow managed to reconcile weightlessness with structure in her gowns.   Continued...

<p>Models appears at the end of the presentation by British designer Sarah Burton for fashion house Alexander McQueen as part of her Spring/Summer 2012 women's ready-to-wear fashion collection show in Paris, October 4, 2011. REUTERS/Pascal Rossignol</p>