PARIS — Dresses adorned with ears of wheat and pheasant feathers defined the first Alexander McQueen line since the designer’s suicide in February, unveiled Tuesday by his successor and ex-number two Sarah Burton.
Carried in on planks of light wood, wild grasses seeming to grow between them, the first piece was a riding coat of layered raw ivory silk, without seams but with threads dangling loose, over a pair of trousers.
Wide golden belts cinched in dresses that suggested ancient Greece, while floral prints climbed up the neck, leaving the shoulders bare, for the spring/summer ready-to-wear collection showcased in Paris.
A black riding coat had golden laurel leaves running down the side, like a tuxedo, while a bustier dress in leaves of black leather fell in an elegant scoop around the breast and back.
Others had leather leaves embroidered onto a skin-coloured base, like climber plants twining up the body to encircle the neck.A short-sleeved orange dress was entirely made from butterflies, paired with matching shoes.
Models with geometrically plaited hair walked out in a dress of tough wicker, with a white sprig pushing up through the shoulder-blades, or another woven from ears of wheat.
Several short dresses, with exaggerated, rounded hips, conjured the spirit of the late McQueen, whose mark was also felt in the baroque ambiance and generous the use of gold.
Come evening time, there were sumptuous dresses in layered organza, stitched vertically to create maximum volume and movement, or a fitted bustier that widened into an ostrich feather-covered skirt or another in pheasant feathers.
Burton stepped out to give a humble bow, in jeans and a white blouse, to sustained applause and the sound of “I’ll be there” by a young Michael Jackson.