Trembling as she shook hands, the woman who had been at Alexander McQueen's side for the past 16 years found herself thrust into the fashion spotlight for the first time.
The weight of expectation on her shoulders could not have been more monumental. Six months after Alexander McQueen's death
and a few weeks after the late designer's memorial in London, the air still thick with emotion, she was facing far more than the usual pressures of a young designer taking over the reigns of an esteemed fashion house.
As if to signal a rebirth of the brand, the theme appeared to be new life with nature quite literally breaking out everywhere, from the moss peeping through the set's simple wooden floorboards to the exquisite butterfly dresses and woven wicker pieces that recalled straw dollies, a symbol of fertility during Harvest Festival.
The familiar silhouettes and expert couturemanship were all there as Burton sensitively picked her way through the maze of McQueen signatures: a gold embroidered Napoleonic frock coat, a jacket made entirely of delicate black leaves, corseted gowns whose skirts erupted with pheasant or ostrich plumes. It wouldn't be hard to picture Daphne Guinness,
McQueen's most loyal and outré devotee, wearing one of the corset-shaped wicker dresses with a mane of Palomino horse hair coursing down its spine.
But what really struck a chord, alongside the requisite show pieces, was the softness of the collection. We were, after all, seeing McQueen through a woman's eyes. Hence the femininity of that opening outfit - a pure white frock coat and pants - or the shrug-it-on simplicity of a black sleeveless trouser suit, the sweetness of the white dresses fit for angels and the effortless elegance of a floaty sheer g