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 don’t think it has to have as much angst in it. I think it will become softer,' said Burton. 'There’s always got to be some darkness, because otherwise you don’t appreciate what’s light. I’ve had a training in darkness, but I don’t feel that it’s necessarily a personal thing to me. I’m 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 Lee’s territory — the spectacular show,” said Burton 'In that way, I can’t try and pretend to be Lee.'
The Alexander McQueen show will be on Tuesday 5th October. See all the latest catwalk pics here.