Sunday, October 17, 2010

Inspired By...Sarah Burton

When Sarah Burton designed her first collection as Creative Director for Alexander McQueen, she was under enormous pressure--and I'm sure huge emotional weight. The Spring 2011 show was her first in that role after McQueen took his own life last February, just a few weeks before his Fall 2010 collection was to show in Paris. At that time, some wondered if the brand could survive without him, one of the fashion world's most creative and forward-thinking designers.

Ms. Burton worked beside Lee McQueen for 15 years and had been his second in command. To take his house and his legacy onto her shoulders after his death must have been unthinkably difficult. All eyes were on her when Paris Fashion Week began. Everyone wondered if she could possibly live up to what McQueen had built.

She delivered. The collection, while true to McQueen's vision, reflected her own sensibilities. Critics raved about the " feminine lightness" of the clothes, the startling craftsmanship.

"The creation of modern beautifully crafted clothes was at the heart of Lee's vision," Ms. Burton said when she was named his successor last May, just five months before the Spring 2011 show. "I intend to stay true to his legacy."

 I'm inspired by Ms. Burton's strength, her eye for beauty, her attention to detail--and how she was able to stay true to her friend and mentor, and still let her own vision show through in a way that was respectful, true and brave. The next time I find myself under tremendous pressure in my work or in my life--creative or otherwise, I will think of her and this incredible collection.

All photos from

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