Designer of the Moment: Sarah Burton

Sarah Burton at the Met’s “Savage Beauty: Alexander McQueen” opening night gala

Probably the most buzzed about designer in the world right now — the creator of THE  royal wedding gown — is Sarah Burton of Alexander McQueen. Manchester-born and London-based, Burton, 36, took the reigns at Alexander McQueen in May 2010, after Lee McQueen, the label’s founder died in February. She had been at the brand since 1996, starting as an intern and eventually became McQueen’s right-hand up until his death. She presented her first collection as head designer in September 2010. The line — retaining the signature McQueen edge — was a success. But no doubt she was put on the map as the designer of Kate Middleton’s wedding dress.

Sarah Burton fixing the royal train. Photo: Getty
Sarah Burton sneaks into the Goring Hotel the day before the wedding

Certainly no dress has ever before created such speculation, rumors and anticipation. “It has been the experience of a lifetime to work with Catherine Middleton to create her wedding dress, and I have enjoyed every moment of it,” said Burton. “It was such an incredible honor to be asked, and I am so proud of what we and the Alexander McQueen team have created.”

It is quite apropos that the Metropolitan Museum of Art is celebrating the opening of its Alexander McQueen retrospective tonight. The exhibit, “Savage Beauty” explores McQueen’s genius, craftsmanship and ability to create dramatic spectacles on the runway. Sarah Burton joined Anna Wintour and Stella McCartney to preview the exhibit. “When I walked into the exhibit, I thought of Lee,” said Burton. “The passion, inspiration.”

Sarah Burton, middle, with Anna Wintour and Stella McCartney at the Met. Photo: Rex Features

Looks from Sarah Burton’s Spring 2011 collection as designer of Alexander McQueen:

All r/w photos: Dan & Corina Lecca / Harper’s Bazaar

Sarah Burton taking her runway show 
After being named head designer at McQueen, Sarah Burton’s name was in the news again as the creator of the striking red gown that Michelle Obama wore to the state dinner in honor of China. The fact that the First Lady wore something designed by a Brit instead of a Chinese-American caused quite a stir.  

Michelle Obama in the controversial Sarah Burton-designed gown she wore for the China state dinner

It’s safe to say that all eyes will be on the press-shy Burton for some time now. Whether or not Princess Catherine will continue to wear her designs, we can be sure that fashion fans will be clamoring to get their hands on anything Alexander McQueen.

Sarah Burton

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