If you want to become the new Alexander McQueen then 27 Old Bond Street is where you need to head. Sarah Burton has created space for any student with an interest in fashion to book a seat and learn the art of fashion design. I visited the top floor of the store has been dedicated to an experiential space where workshops covering everything from pattern-cutting to fashion history and communications are held for schools and colleges.
I stayed during the pandemic amongst 500 hundred rose bushes in Tuscany. The power of those roses meant my best year was during the lockdown. My industry which is a luxury journalist for fashion, cars and hospitality came to a brutal halt. Imagine my state of mind that everything I worked for was destroyed for almost two years.
I love both new and old designs of McQueen. More so what Sarak stands for. If you make a mistake just learn from it.
Karl Largerfeld said of her,
she is fantastic and what she is doing at McQueen is truly haute couture.
Owned by Kering and under Burton’s aegis, growing into a global luxury powerhouse with 100 stores around the globe. . The brand offers footwear, menswear and leather accessories alongside the tailoring and the dramatic gowns that are the house’s signature. Burton’s DNA is more romantic but remains both haunting and resonant, juxtaposing structure and softness, elegance and edge darkness and light.
The Designs Has To Be Personal
Lee always said it had to be personal, if not then you are pretending, says Burton. Inside the store, there are many designs all with the themes, of roses. The S/S13 collection has a bodice and skirt structured like a honeycomb and embroidered with golden bees.
The S/S07 from lee’s collection is composed entirely of flowers, called Sarabande. Composed of entirely flowers.
The A/W19, shaped like a single red rose, is a tribute to the rose queen pageants she remembered from her childhood.
Looking for design inspiration then look no further. Behind each mannequin, the walls are papered with photographs showing the evolution of the dress. There are toiles to touch, paper dolls, fabric samples, and vibrant mood boards of the inspiration behind the garments. A rose is reimagined in dozens of ways and colours are all pinned to the wall until the desired degree of realism is arrived at.
Embroidery Is Lee McQueen
One area is devoted to the house’s signature embroidery, in another a video of Judy Halil, head of the atelier, tucking and pleating, runs on a loop. I wanted people to see how we make a collection, Burton explains. What is really key to learn, is the process of getting things right, getting things wrong, and just experiementing. Today’s culture of social media judgement means the new artists maybe afarid to get it wrong.
Lee never judged anyone for getting it wrong. The hierarchy of ideas was non-existent, in Leee’s world anyone could share and not be made feel bad.
The Rise Of Trusted Designers
I am exhausted by the same designers being on the front page of Vogue. What the pandemic forced Sarah to do is send her work home with a mannequin and start creating. Everything slowed down so the sewers could dye fabrics, in their sinks. Cut out items on a washing machine, yes the new Alexander McQueen was deemed the kitchen couture. Due to the slow pace, it meant everyone could be who they were born to be. Passion for fashion has returned for those who understand the power of garments. Fast fashion is a destroyer of that.
Being creative should be personal. It doesn’t matter if it is wrong as long as you believe in it. This has been the story of my blogging life.
Unused Stock For A Sustainable Message
Put your garments where your mouth is. Burton launched an initiative to give away unused stock fabric to fashion colleges and community projects, because when it was my final student collection. Lee got me fabrics from the mills. How can one create if you don’t have fabric, it is a world destroyer. The art of therapeutic properties of making things yourself is one that needs the core ingredients.
Has covid not taught those who can create with their hands the gift of fashion? McQueen also funds the art centre in Tower Hamlets, which teaches printing, painting and embroidery and recently lost government support. And ongoing projects working with Welsh schoolchildren, whom she met researching her Wales-inspired A/W20 collection.
Learn Music And Math
Many young children struggle with basic math. I learnt to play the organ and was and still am great at basic arithmetics. It is important for me not to be ripped off in this world of fashion or grocery shopping. Music and math are very opposite to fashion design because when one sews it’s ok to get it wrong. Most garments never need up being sold off the rack anyway. The key to being the next Burton is to simply create without fear.
My top tip is to find yourself a Burton where you live, a gatekeeper that will guide you into being noticed. Sarah was introduced at St Martin’s to Lee thanks to Simon Ungless. The rest is fashion history.