Wednesday, June 6, 2012


What a job -- to be the voice, the eye, the taste of Alexander McQueen -- be a girl/woman/boss in YOUR thirties, that everyone in the world of fashion knows, probably envies, certainly admires.

The dress Sarah designed and supervised -- spent hours and hours over every inch of fabric, seaming, stitching, and fitting, molding it to Catherine Middleton's body -- that fabulous wedding dress which transformed the lovely Kate into a perfect princess, also transformed Sarah Burton into a major name in fashion.

Sarah Heard Burton (her husband is the well known fashion photographer, David Burton) was born in Cheshire, England, one of the five children of Anthony and Diana Heard. She attended a girls' school in Manchester, took art courses at Manchester Polytechnic, and pursued fashion at two other art and design colleges in London. In her third year, her tutor, a friend of Alexander McQueen, got her an interview and she became an intern for McQueen.

As "Lee" McQueen's full-time personal assistant, (she called him "Lee"), Burton officially became head of McQueen's "Womenswear" in 2000, and created dresses for various important McQueen clients, including Michelle Obama, Cate Blanchett, Lady Gaga and Gwyneth Paltrow.

After McQueen's suicide in February, 2010, the company owner, Gucci, named her the creative director of "Alexander McQueen." In September of that year, Sarah B. presented her first collection at the prestigious Paris Fashion Week.

In November, 2011, she was chosen as on the Designer of the Year at the British Fashion Awards.

Since McQueen's death, designer Sarah, always referred to as Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen, has presented four runway collections, each one more daring and well-received than the last.

Is it Sarah's talent, or luck -- her being at the right place at the right time?


In 2005, Kate Middleton with her boyfriend Prince William, attended the wedding of Tom Parker Bowles, son of Camilla, Prince Charles's second wife. Kate fell love with the bride's wedding dress, which Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen, had designed.

More than likely, you, as well as millions of people all over the world have seen photos, or watched Kate's and William's wedding and were fascinated, and impressed, by the fantastically perfect look of Princess Kate in her Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen wedding dress.

Fashion journalists, as well as Sarah B. herself, say the creation of that wedding dress was "An experience of a lifetime."

Where's this designer heading? What's next for her?

I saw photos of some of Burton's recent creations that got critics gushing, raving, about women "like pom poms," "underwater anemones" and "bauble decked Christmas trees."

Sarah said -- "Inspiration came from the rippling underbellies of mushrooms, and other woodland imagery. I wanted to be very positive. It is about a beautiful future." One it seems, that's just as bright as her own.

Will we see women bedecked like this? On red carpets, probably. we'll see celebrity beauties who are determined to be noticed.

Hey Sarah, you made it -- the fashion world's paying attention to you, we're paying attention to you! But those chiffon mushroom outfits...

I have to say, "YAY Sarah," but please, take us out of the woods, and give us something to stop traffic in broad daylight, something that allows us to mingle, kiss, and pee.


Maureen Jacobs said...

What a timely post, Ms. Em. Last night I watched Valentino The Last Emperor on my iPad. What a talent. He said at one point, the dress should be for a woman to wear. Form and function was his goal. Judging by Ms. Burton's talent, she most certainly will last. As an intern years ago for Mr. McQueen, everything she knows she learned from him. Humble as she is, she definitely pays homage to her mentor and friend while creating a style all her own.

It does help when being in the right place at the right time, however, her talent would have been discovered regardless.

Anonymous said...

Very interesting success story about Sarah Burton.I did love that wedding dress that Kte wore for her wedding-gorgeous! Now, I can put a face to it's maker. She has a unique and timely life of fashion and thrills all the way to the top of her life and still to come. kam

Carola said...

It would be fun to see what the wedding dress that Kate fell in love with looks like.

Sudhin Choksey said...

No success comes without personal skill, competence and experience.The major component of success is perseverance.Third is the self-will to persist against all the odds.

Yes, then comes the advantage of being in a right place at a right time. This factor only accelerates the blossoming of the potentials of an individual.

Based on these as my personal beliefs, I believe SARAH BURTON must be very talented and she would be ingrained with the creativity of design and sense of beauty. A good work exposure she took under the close guidance and supervision of McQueen would have tapped the potentials. Yes to that extent the destiny was kind to her to get such GURU/teacher for exploiting her talents.

Emily, I am sure you and John are better experts at giving the comment.