Funnily, When it comes to an Alexander McQueen show, the easiest and most Obvious trap to fall into is the allure of Subtext. Most writers love to read so much into the work that they forget that any McQueen epic is bound to layers of Subtext, but more realistically and more pointedly, Sarah Burton is NOT Lee! Her mind operates quite differently than his did, even though as close as she was to him, she is Married to the Mille-Feuille of Subtext that comes as a given with the history of the label. But often enough, Reviewers focus on this backstory aspect to the point of not even recognizing the Main story line being presented quite baldly to them.
So, even though there is a Bondage thread running through Sarah Burton's Spring 2015 McQueen collection, as well as a more overarching emphasis on Japan and The Kimono, Most want to read between the lines and dig into the Historical and Clandestine. Honestly, It wasn't all that Serious! Burton has a Fascination with Japan and Japanese artisanal work, Yes, there is the Sexual. Submissive/Dominant frisson shimmying through the work, but that comes Hand-in-Hand with the McQueen DNA!
The attention should be placed on the clothes. And that they were Wonderfully Beautiful. The thing that struck me most about the collection is the Slimane-like Alchemy that Burton is finally beginning to Magick out of the McQueen name... in the beginning of her reign here, there was the slavish dedication to How would Lee have continued on had he lived... so we say collection more as outcroppings on the cliffs of the McQueen Mountain. They still looked like Lee Alex was designing them but was, one might say, exploring a different facet of his persona... as time has worn on, Burton has Exorcised Lee's Ghost and understands that, Sadly... Lee is Dead and Buried. What He WOULD have done has no relevance any longer. It's what SHE WILL Do that matters, and although they were of like mind, they also were of Different mind!
So, the clothes pay obeisance to the Rich History of the house, as they must, but it's now a Synthesis of Burton's Idea focused through the lens of Lee's Past, Not the Reverse! And the clothes look entirely better for it, before there was the fetid aroma of Necrophelia one could say, as if Burton couldn't, wouldn't let Lee's preoccupations of fashion Die with him and she was preserving his work, Shrine like, and not showing whom she is. It worked for a few collections but Burton wisely began sidestepping that slavish dedication and marked her path, the more confident in her own Thoughts and Idea and Abilities she has become, the better the clothes.
This freedom was the hallmark of the Spring 2015 collection, a perfect marriage of Past and Present, as recognizably McQueen as ever, but definitely not... Lee! This was Pure Sarah, Yes, she used some of the Bondage motifs, the Squared off Boxy Samurai Shoulders by way of Joan Crawford Silhouettes, But there was a Gentleness that was rarely, if ever, present when Lee was doing things. Even in the most Strict, Confining archetypal pieces, Burton was feminizing and relaxing things, there wasn't that Sadistic/Masochistic edge present. There was Control, but it was being Exerted, Not Impressed!
The perfect exhibition of this idea was Exit No. 25, a Belted Black Pantsuit as Sharp as a Samurai's Katana and Strict as the Line of a Balenciaga Coat. But it was not so Strict or Sharp as to look Costumey or Draconian, The Warp print dots on the sides of the Jacket of Sakura Blossoms added a soft touch as did the Delicate black Point D'esprit blouse peeking out of the Slit sleeves... Burton contorted all the Burton/McQueen dialects into one Flawless Idiom! As there was much more to the show than this, it isn't entirely necessary to Power Point the show, The true success of any McQueen Epic is what you Feel when you gaze upon the clothes. Too much analysis demystifies the Enchantment... And there was Plenty of Enchanting going on!
So, Pull up a Seat, Take a Look. And be prepared to be Entranced!