Today, a series of spectacular dresses go on show at the Alexander McQueen flagship store in Old Bond Street, London. Entitled Roses, the installation houses both new and old designs on the top floor of the brand’s shop — a space dedicated to blossoming young talent and creative experiences open to the public.
The exhibition is centred on two fabulous finale designs; AW19’s sculptural silk taffeta dress which swirled into a red English rose by Sarah Burton, and Lee Alexander McQueen’s unforgettable Sarabande gown made from fresh flowers for SS07.
Positioned at the entrance of the exhibition, the Sarabande dress has been restored alongside more floral pieces with blooms spilling from necklines and petals trapped between layers of tulle — ready to greet guests as they arrive.
The standout dresses create a path to a walk-in glass cylinder, where an original video plays footage of flower dress walking at the Paris Cirque d’Hiver show.
Meanwhile, the Red Rose design stands in a cluster sketches and photographs detailing how the 3-D petal-form was crafted. A studio cutting table with samples and research sits beside the piece, where masterclasses and interactive discussions for students with take place.
Joining the Red Rose and the Sarabande, is a full bloom of pink camellias, exploding carnation-shapes, pieces pollinated by bees and an array of regal roses picked from an English garden.
Documenting a trip through the eras, the showcase eventually leads to the present day with flower-esque designs from the SS20 runway show which took place in Paris last September.
The pastel petalled dresses are accompanied by a photograph capturing the inspiration behind the piece; a field of pale flax-flowers in bloom on a farm in Northern Ireland, spotted by Burton and her team.
Sarah Burton’s influence runs throughout the exhibition, with a running commentary of her insight, inspiration and design process — it becomes a tour through the designer’s creative thoughts. Each dress comes with label revealing how it was composed, and each design tells the story of its origin.
Introducing her vision of open access installations and collaborative education at Alexander McQueen in January 2019, Burton continues to share both the history and the future of the brand, with a focus on nourishing student’s rising talent.
The Roses exhibition will host a series of classes on pattern-making and couture techniques run by Sarah Burton and Head of Atelier Judy Halil, set to take place throughout 2020.
Alexander McQueen’s Roses exhibit can be found on the second floor at 27 Old Bond Street, London. Opening November 30; +44 20 7355 0088