Fifteen years after last showing in London, Alexander McQueen returned to the British capital with a collection that, while still capturing the spirit of the late designer, was all grown up under the helm of Sarah Burton. Continuing the romantic trajectory she began last season, the designer unveiled a dreamy line-up of whispy, delicate gowns in shades of nude and black adorned with twinkling charms in the shape of birds of paradise, moons, stars and the house's signature motif, butterflies.
A McQueen collection wouldn't be complete without tailoring – here it was delivered via shapely tuxedo jackets, some that hung to the floor, scarlet fit-and-flare day dresses printed with butterflies and buckled trousers for a nod to the bondage theme usually issued by the label, although not as severe as in seasons past.
Had the gowns not been so jaw-droppingly spectacular, the outerwear would have certainly stolen the show – down jackets backed in satin came embroidered and slipped off the models' shoulders to reveal lacy underpinnings while sturdy black coats with more whimsical embroidery featured plush fur trimmings.
At nine months' pregnant, Burton is obviously getting ready to think about other things, but it's clear that her mission to put her own mark on the label has been accomplished.
"An absolutely stunning show, and certainly the hot ticket of the week, McQueen returned home after 15 years of showing in Paris with a romantic, feminine, and opulent show. Sarah Burton unveiled sheer gowns embellished with star, moon and butterfly trinkets that were offset with tailored evening jackets. Statement outerwear came in the form of satin-quilted coats edged in fur and embroidered with florals," said Helen David, Harrods Chief Merchant, of the show.