The unique connection shared between Sarah Burton and the Alexander McQueen brand goes beyond the typical association that a creative director has with a fashion house. It’s rooted in her history of working closely alongside the legendary Lee McQueen himself, which has endowed her with an exceptionally intimate understanding of the brand’s origin story. This profound connection has served as her strongest asset since she assumed the role of creative director back in 2010. Throughout her tenure, Burton has consistently presented collections that pay a heartfelt tribute to McQueen’s enduring legacy. However, she has also managed to infuse her own creative vision into the Alexander McQueen universe, guiding the brand boldly into the future.

The grand unveiling of Sarah Burton’s final collection for Alexander McQueen took center stage at the Spring/Summer 2024 runway show during Paris Fashion Week. The show opened with the radiant Kaia Gerber, gracefully striding in a form-fitting black mini-dress accentuated by a tantalizing keyhole neckline, elegantly cropped sleeves, and striking red heels. Subsequent pieces exuded a captivating allure, not through theatricality, but through a profound resonance with the modern woman who embodies the essence of Alexander McQueen’s aesthetic.

The program notes accompanying the show provided an intriguing glimpse into the collection’s diverse inspirations. These included the female anatomy, the regal aura of Queen Elizabeth I, the symbolism of blood-red roses, and the audacious creativity of the artist Magdalena Abakanowicz. Abakanowicz, renowned for her unwavering commitment to her artistic vision, served as an unconventional muse.

The exhibition also bore a heartfelt dedication to the memory of Lee Alexander McQueen, whose lifelong aspiration was to empower women. Furthermore, it paid homage to the passion, talent, and unwavering loyalty of Burton’s devoted team.

The iconic rose motif, an emblem of the brand dating back to McQueen’s earliest collections, pervaded the collection in myriad forms. It manifested as intricate paintings on sleeveless leather dresses, as the textured crochet knit patterns on elegant ensembles, and even as the silhouette defining flowing, graceful gowns. The unmistakable rose silhouette was echoed in the contours of bold and opulent gold earrings. Burton’s signature color palette of ebony and rich crimson red, elevated by subtle accents of white, gold, and silver, unfolded gracefully throughout the collection.

The runway witnessed a mesmerizing array of silhouettes and design techniques, from form-fitting jumpsuits to meticulously tailored trench coats, flowing ruffled gowns, intricately crochet-adorned tops, and daring cut-out blazers. Each design choice celebrated the female form with a unique and captivating flair, while the inclusion of delicate lace, gleaming metals, and dramatic fringes offered a heartfelt tribute to McQueen’s indelible design legacy.

The show’s grand climax featured none other than the iconic Naomi Campbell, resplendent in a silver dress adorned with a basque corset bodice and a swaying fringe skirt. As Sarah Burton took her final bow, bidding an emotional adieu to her revered position within the fashion house, the audience rose in a spontaneous and heartfelt standing ovation.

The enduring legacy of Alexander McQueen is undoubtedly secure, thanks to Sarah Burton’s unwavering dedication and visionary leadership. This final collection stands as a masterpiece, expertly weaving the rich tapestry of the brand’s history with a contemporary sensibility that points towards a promising future for Alexander McQueen. The Spring/Summer 2024 runway show shall unquestionably be etched into the annals of fashion history as a poignant and powerful tribute to the creative brilliance of both Lee Alexander McQueen and Sarah Burton.

Designer: Sarah Burton

Fashion Editor/Stylist: Camilla Nickerson

Casting Director: Jess Hallett

Entertainer: Yseult

Models: Adhel BolAdut AkechAfrica GarciaAkuol Deng AtemAlaato JazyperAlex ConsaniAmanda MurphyAnok YaiAwar OdhiangBeauise FerwerdaCelina RalphColin JonesDenyse TumukundeDevyn GarciaElise CrombezFelice Nova NoordhoffFlo NichollsHe CongJill KortleveKaia GerberKarolina SpakowskiLara MenezesLeanne De HaanLina ZhangLineisy MonteroLiu WenLucia FairfullMariacarla BosconoMona TougaardNaomi CampbellNora AttalNyaduola GabrielRachel MarxRejoice ChuolSantha AlexandraSelena ForrestSora ChoiTanya ChurbanovaToyosi BamigboyeVilma SjöbergVittoria CerettiWali Wanessa MilhomemWang Han