As though it had been taken directly from the pages of Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book, the theme tune to Sarah Burton’s spring summer collection for Alexander McQueen certainly seemed to follow the notes of “The bees are buzzing in the trees to make some honey just for me…”. That they certainly did, as Burton utilised an aesthetic which covered everything from bee-keeper veils to metallic cropped trousers in an alluring honeycomb motif. The creative director joked that “most women are worker bees” and what better way to honour their hard-earned efforts than with a collection oozing with feminine sensuality. A capsule that was full of tailored jackets that curved in just the right places and hip hugging pencil skirts; every piece was designed in some way to draw attention to hip and bust. Playing on the penchant for erotica, shapes and styles came tiered, corseted and caged with basques that could have been crafted from crystallised honeycomb complementing the Fifties style prom dresses that pouffed out beneath like the layers of a wedding cake.
Formed of light and airy shapes which appeared to hover by the body, never really settling, the clothes that were showcased against a cinematic backdrop of bees and meadows, acted like the creatures themselves, flitting from one decadent flower to the next. Crinoline gowns bedecked with poppies and flowers in hues of cerise, molten honey and black offered the surface for the basque and corseted bees to rest while skirts that flicked into fishtail flounces denoted the presence of the bee-keepers themselves. Black mesh bras peeking from the cleavage of full-skirted gowns and thick golden belts were figure-defining, working with the structural shapes to recall an era when women were women and men were men, perhaps a broodily restrained Mr Darcy or wild as the moors Heathcliffe. Regardless, their heroine was bold and brash and utterly sexy via a collection that was erotic and fantastical and romantic all at the same time, resounding in sweet success for the ever-talented Burton.
Catwalk images: copyright vogue.co.uk