Even before Sarah Burton's Spring/Summer 2016 show for Alexander McQueen was finished it was already being hailed as the show of the season. With each collection since her predecessor the designer has managed to uphold the aesthetic of the house but in a more feminine, less fetishistic way. This season's offering was nothing short of sublime.
Opening with a series of ivory floor-length Victoriana gowns with high necks, long, fluted sleeves and cascades of ruffles, they were sinewy and romantic. The line-up also included slouchy, mannish trousers and cropped military-style jackets that somehow only served to elevate the femininity of the collection.
Embellished double denim could have gone so wrong in the hands of anyone else, but Burton's sets, with their wasp-waists, looked utterly poetic. From there, chain mail tunics, short corset dresses with yet more ruffles and gowns printed with dusty pink flowers arrived before the final parade of feather-skirted, floor-sweepers.
"Sarah Burton sent out one of the most romantic, easy, light, and sexy collections we've ever seen from McQueen. The floral embroidery, ruffles, jacquards and even embroidered leathers were all exquisitely wearable, yet still couture-like, with the evening gowns being some of the most intricate and beautiful we have seen all season," said Helen David, Harrods Chief Merchant, of the show.