Of all the designers showing during Paris Fashion Week, Sarah Burton is surely under the most pressure. Why? Because she is the new Creative Director of Alexander McQueen, former right-hand-woman of the designer and now responsible for keeping his eponymous label alive.
Burton has been very quiet since her appointment, staying focussed on preparing the Spring/Summer 2011 collection. But WWD was granted a chat with her ahead of next week's show. So what did we learn - and what can we expect from the new pieces?
'I dont think it has to have as much angst in it. I think it will become softer,' said Burton. 'Theres always got to be some darkness, because otherwise you dont appreciate whats light. Ive had a training in darkness, but I dont feel that its necessarily a personal thing to me. Im a bit lighter.'
While Burton knew McQueen inside and out - she worked alongside him for 14 years - she won't be trying to follow perfectly in his footsteps. Instead she's taking the things that made his label such a hit, 'definitely tailoring, incredible dresses, embroideries, prints and the sexiness,' and giving them her own stamp. And then, of course, there's the thing that made McQueen stand out from everyone else. 'The thing I learnt very early on with Lee is that nothing was ever impossible,' she said.
As well as his collections, McQueen was renowned for his now legendary shows - remember the Kate Moss hologram, the glass box with bird-bedecked models or the dress-wearing model who got sprayed with paint? But, going forward, it seems that the shows will be less outlandish. 'That was very much Lees territory the spectacular show, said Burton 'In that way, I cant try and pretend to be Lee.'
The Alexander McQueen show will be on Tuesday 5th October. See all the latest catwalk pics here.