Long may Sarah Burton reign … worthy heir of the McQueen throne!!
Throughout 2011 I have been so inspired by Sarah Burton and her story… The chances are you won’t be familiar with the name Sarah Burton as it stands alone, but, team it with “Kate Middleton’s wedding dress designer” and the majority of the nation, in fact the world, will suddenly start to understand who she is. Sarah Burton is an inspiring English fashion designer and is currently the creative director of fashion brand Alexander McQueen!! The whole story of Burton is one of encouragement to a fashion student or graduate…giving hope, excitement and drive to achieving your dreams!!
I was impressed to discover that her roots lie in Macclesfield, Cheshire, where she raised and studied for her art foundation course before moving down south to attend Central Saint Martins and begin her love affair with the sewing machine and fashion. Whilst at Central Saint Martins her tutor referred her over to do a year’s placement with Alexander McQueen, working as an intern and gaining valuable experience with the famous British label. Little did she know this would prove to be the very start of a massive 14yr collaboration and dramatic career.
After Alexander McQueen’s death last year we were all left talking about the suicide, the brand, the identity and who was most likely to become his successor!! Sarah Burton, having been both Alexander’s reliable personal assistant and friend for many years, was the obvious choice but was reluctant to step into the limelight initially. But, she did however accept the challenge of becoming the brand’s new creative director in May 2010 and has took the company from strength to strength ever since! Her first complete McQueen womenswear collection debuted in September 2010 in Paris, paying homage to McQueen’s dramatic aesthetic but adding her own more feminine take.
Without a doubt though, it was the next experience of a lifetime that beat any other and took Burton’s career to an all-time high…designing Kate Middleton’s wedding dress for the Royal Wedding earlier this year!! The dress totally represented the best of British craftsmanship; marrying traditional fabrics and lacework with modern structure and design. The dress was an ivory silk and lace, long-sleeved, V-neck gown with a two-metre train and accessorised with a soft ivory silk tulle layered veil. Even Pippa Middleton’s show stopping bridesmaid dress, and Kate’s evening gown were designed by McQueen! Hats off to Sarah for creating such a beautiful masterpiece in secret…Burton admitted she didn’t even tell her mum she was the designer!! The dress instantly made Kate Middleton famous all over the world headlining as “Queen of Style” and Burton guaranteed her place within fashion history too!!
On 28th November 2011, Sarah Burton won Designer of the Year at the 2011 British Fashion Awards, a title Alexander had impressively won four times…we can’t wait to see what 2012 has in store for the designer and her McQueen collections!!
Let this story inspire you…Sarah started off as a student, spending long hours behind a sewing machine and in lecture halls. But with determination, hope and a lot of passion look what she has achieved to date!!
So, why not invest in a sewing machine and see where your dreams and practise can take you!!!