Alexander McQueen Fall 2011 Show Review

mcqueen Fall 2011 runway

Photos: Imaxtree

Looks from the Alexander McQueen Fall 2011 collection

SHOW: Alexander McQueen (See the full runway collection.)

ACCESSORIES: Flight-of-fantasy boots—towering and simultaneously heel free; silver helmets of hair clips; cross-laced thigh-high boots

THEME: The Snow Queen and her court

OVERALL TAKEAWAY: Icy may have been the theme, but this collection was white hot and tender enough to melt our hearts

Sarah Burton, Alexander McQueen's successor at the label that bears his name, harked back to McQueen shows of yore for her Fall 2011 collection. That's a mighty legacy to grapple with—Burton must have been feeling extra confident, buoyed by the success of her début, to pitch up her show in La Conciergerie, the medieval prison once home to Marie Antoinette. It was also home to one of McQueen's most memorable outings back in 2002, and this presentation harnessed some of that drama.

Harness was the word—lots of them appeared, buckled over strict wool suits and soft chiffon dresses to add a sadomasochistic touch to an otherwise ethereal vision of beauty. Burton's inspiration? The Snow Queen and her court, thus the white light we were bathed in as the opening fur-swathed outfits took their turns around the cavernous stone vaults.

Those were exemplary, but the evening gowns were extraordinary—especially ones where the signature graphic McQueen prints were reconfigured in shattered porcelain intricately hand-painted in-house. The skirts that exploded out below those taut, compressed bodices, however, were the real emblems of this collection. They were dramatic, but they were soft and feminine. That really says it all.

Oh, and one final word: Bravo!