“Everything I do is connected to nature in one way or another“ – Lee Alexander Mcqueen
The Roses exhibition by Sarah Burton is located at the top floor of McQueen’s London flagship in Old Bond Street. Thought as an intimate experience in the ateliers of the British brand, the toiles, prototypes and other fabric swatches are taken out of the archives. This unique experience throughout the creative process of Sarah Burton only reflects the level of perfectionism necessary to the making of such incredible fashion, from inventing new craftsmanship and techniques to archive a certain volume or colour. A work with such meaning it cannot be counted in hours, all for a glimpse, an apparition on the runway in front of a public certainly unaware of such devotion.
The everlasting beauty of the death has always been a strong inspiration of Alexander Mcqueen’s work, roses under his creative genius have been studied for their shapes and volumes, for their imagery via embroideries and perfectionist needle-works and mainly for their abilities to rise and annoy in a characteristic aetherial beauty. A defining moment allowing the colours to fade, the petals to shrink. A transformation bringing a new repertory of poesy to a journey approaching its end. This reflexion will bring Lee Alexander McQueen to work with fresh -or less fresh- flowers in his infamous Sarabande collection in 2007. Embroided and adorn with roses, hydrangeas and all the elements of the most exquisite bouquets the infanta dresses may appear as hyper-feminine for McQueen but will start loosing elements and shredding as long as the models cross the Cirque d’Hiver. Organic, a moment not ment to last.
Sarah Burton will, after the tragic passing of the predecessor, continue on playing with roses with the determine aim of mimicking nature to the perfection. Her Fall 2019 collection featured an amazing déclinaisons of this work. The English rose being a recurrent pattern of English Victorian pictural art, Burton will transcend the garment into becoming a flower. Replicating the volume of the petals, the exact colours of red roses. Becoming roses.
This exhibition is a must see for anyone in London to understa,d the emotion procured by McQueen’s creations. Usually mundane and banalised the roses took another symbolism under the tenancy of creative genius. I now want to keep fresh cut flower in every corner of my apartment, hoping I could get at least a brief overview of their infinite inspirational power. From now on, roses are red, but mine will be McQueen’s.
Text by Marien Brandon
Images courtesy of Marien Brandon & Alexander McQueen