SARAH BURTON had bees on the brain this evening for her spring/summer 2013 Alexander McQueen collection - them and a study of the female form.
"It was bringing back the silhouette of the house and embracing the female form - the hip and bust. But there was a lightness to it. It still felt erotic but not overt," explained Burton backstage after the show, joking that "most women are worker bees" - which made then for the perfect collection match.
And this really was a perfect collection - taking honey in all its forms and working it up into the most beautiful clothes. Honeycomb mesh made for sharply-executed jackets and pencil skirts, a circular mesh disc for a new take on a beekeeper's hat up top; it then morphed into being honeycomb jacquard for more precise tailoring with cropped trousers beneath and scythe-like shoes with glistening heels that seemed to melt into existence.
We then went into the meadows for beautiful and extravagant tiered corseted, caged and crinoline gowns that wouldn't look out of place for one moment on Scarlett O'Hara and which came smothered at their hems with poppies and flowers. The ball gowns came in cerise and, of course, soft honey, and up top were basques of the same molten sweetness.
It was as though the dresses were hovering over the models, their accentuated hips and bustles swaying behind them, but never being pulled down by them.
Waists were encased by thick golden belts – there’s that erotica reference cropping up again - and crinolines and corsets were paramount, dictating even the shape of the jackets to begin with.
"It was utterly amazing, unbelievable, genius - from the film backdrop of the bees to the clothes, breath-taking," summed up Vogue fashion director Lucinda Chambers, who really did hit the nail on the head. Such a simple idea, such stunning consequences.