Posts tagged ‘sarah burton’

April 29, 2011

Much Ado about Nothing: The Royal Wedding as a fashion moment. (Don’t be a drag, just be a Queen)


With all the fuss made about  the dress that Kate Middleton would wear –ok, let’s be honest, the unbearable hype form the networks–I expected some kind of wow moment.

No, not the wow moment that every network hack keeps telling me I really did experience. I happen to be watching ABC News with Tina Brown, Tim Gunn (now a professional fashion sycophant/ gay Stepin Fetchit lap dog for hire), Diane Sawyer and Barbara Walters. So invested is ABC in the coverage of the wedding, so many on-air hours and television specials devoted to the hype,  that one could hardly expect anyone present to tell the truth about the bride: she looks OK, and nothing more.

Truth be told, sister and maid of honor Pippa provided the only wow fashion moment. And I mean WOW, as in she completely upstaged the bride!

Princess Katherine’s dress is demure, tasteful, and  reminds one of Grace Kelly’s. That, my dears, is polite chit chat for BORING. Chelsea Clinton–think about that–made for a much more beautiful bride.  Did someone as vulgarly American as Ivanka Trump not look about the same  in a modest dress for her conservative Jewish wedding? Katherine is a beautiful woman and would have looked good in a paper bag. This was a designer paper bag.

Perhaps you may not be able to fault the craftsmanship of the Alexander McQueen gown, but you can certainly fault the timidity of its vision. Speculation was that Sarah Burton, who now heads McQueen, was chosen because of the brand’s ability to balance well researched historical references with an exquisite theatrical  aesthetic.  For all the talk about what a great tribute this dress is to Mr. McQueen, he was  a man known neither for his timidity in life nor especially in his designs.

See Ms. Burton’s most recent designs for the label and then look at this dress again and then you will understand my utter disappointment.  Given the ability of the house to produce an intricate patterned bodice, the bodice  of the dress is a pure waste of the McQueen aesthetic.

I cannot speak for him–unlike the ABC anchors and the demi monde of journalists/sycophants–but I will say that for me, all of this was much ado about nothing.

But nothing may just be the point. A tasteful, understated and arguably age inappropriate dress may indeed serve both an economic and political purpose. England is going through tough economic times and a too-lavish gown might give the impression that the monarchy is out of touch with the hardships facing everyone but it. (Prince Charles doesn’t  put the toothpaste on his own toothbrush. That’s someone else’s  taxpayer funded job.)

On a personal level for Catherine, a commoner–though from  a “pull yourself up from your boot straps pushy/savvy/socially ambitious family”–a reverential, tasteful  (and  borderline matronly) dress can signal that she intends to straddle the  fine line of ascending to the ranks of royalty without betraying her commoner lineage. We have already heard how she intends to live with Prince William without the help of any staff and even do her own cooking and laundry.

It wouldn’t take much imagination to hear the palace announce that she plans on reworking this wedding dress into a housecoat.

The Duchess of Cambridge, as she will be known–according to British protocol, she will not be able to formally call herself Princess Catherine because she was not born a princess–may share more than a milliner with Lady Gaga. She may be humming to herself  “don’t be a drag, just be a Queen,” just loud enough to drown out the noise of the spin cycle.

Tom Kolovos is Editor In Chief of aControlledSubstance.

 


March 9, 2011

Runway bride: Alexander McQueen Fall 2011

Image from Style.com

So yesterday, one day before the Fall 2011 presentation of the Alexander McQueen collection, international rumor mills  were in high gear confirming that Katherine Middleton’s wedding dress would be designed by McQueen creative director Sarah Burton.  Will it turn out to be the truth or just a brilliant public relations move that (deservedly) steered all eyes to this collection today? Only time will tell.

And just as if to make sure the  flames of speculation and publicity get fanned as high as possible, Ms. Burton showed some exquisite white dresses (wedding gowns?) to prove that she’s up to the royal task.

The dress shown above was my runaway favorite. I especially like the neckline which looks so sculptural but is also, in fact, the perfect practical way to secure a heavily beaded dress to the body.

See the entire collection on Style.com here.

March 7, 2011

House of McQueen to design Kate Middleton’s wedding dress? Be more cynical.

Photo from Hello Magazine

From the London Evening Standard:

To make Kate Middleton’s wedding gown ‘would be amazing’ says designer’s husband

Sarah Burton, 36, a protégée of Alexander McQueen, was reportedly chosen by Miss Middleton after designing a gown for the 2005 wedding of journalist Sara Buys to Prince William‘s stepbrother, Tom Parker Bowles.

Mrs Burton, from Manchester, last year designed a dress worn by Michelle Obama to a state dinner and has also worked on edgy creations for Lady Gaga and Gwyneth Paltrow.

Mrs Burton became creative director of the Alexander McQueen label after the designer committed suicide at the age of 40 last year.

Chief executive Jonathan Akeroyd reportedly told a colleague last week that the label had secured the commission to design the royal dress.

Mr Akeroyd has since denied his alleged comments and Mrs Burton has stated she is not involved with the royal wedding. Miss Middleton is said to have demanded that no details about her dress are released until the big day on April 29, and it is thought the chosen designer has been sworn to secrecy.

Mrs Burton’s husband, photographer David Burton, today denied that his wife – in France for Paris Fashion Week – is designing the dress. He said: “It would be amazing if she is doing it but I would think I would know about it and I don’t.”

A spokesman for the McQueen label said: “We are not doing the dress.” Clarence House said it was “not responding in any way at all” to the speculation.

From Tom Kolovos:

I’m not saying that the story isn’t true or that Sarah Burton wouldn’t make for an inspired choice to design the gown or that selecting this route wouldn’t make for a fitting tribute to the superstar English designer but don’t you think it’s just a little suspicious that the rumor was started by the McQueen CEO and then internationally distributed the day before the showing of the McQueen Fall 2011 presentation?

I’m just saying. Be more cynical.

Alexander McQueen Spring 2011. Image from Style.com