Marc Quinn’s huge, ethereal white orchids, gorgeously spotlighted in the center of the black oak catwalk, were in fact cast in bronze. The contrast of floral delicacy and weighty substance was a perfect introduction to Sarah Burton’s new collection for Alexander McQueen. She’s been in a Japanese frame of mind for at least her last men’s and Resort collections. Here, the geisha and the samurai embodied the extremes of her latest looks.
Burton fell under Japan’s spell years ago, when she’d traveled there on Lee’s business. She acquired quite the collection of kimonos and other artisanal artifacts. And she fell in love with the notion that clothes could have so much personal meaning for their owners. That idea of preciousness was her new inspiration. “Make your clothes so they mean something,” was her mantra.