Common influences perplex Alexander McQueen designer

By Oliver Wright

Sarah Burton finds it "strange" that so many designers get inspired by the same things.

The creative director of Alexander McQueen has discussed how she comes up with her collections. She explained she tries to link all of her ideas back to the label of the aesthetic.

During Fashion Week season there tend to be key looks that feature across many different catwalks, something Burton has noticed but can't explain.

"You have to bring it back to the house where you're working. So if you're going to be inspired by somebody or a theme or whatever it is, it has to somehow relate to what the house is about.

"The great thing about the way Lee [late designer Alexander McQueen] worked, and the way we work, is that we never look at fashion references.

"It's very much you create a world and a story and you go with that, it's very much, 'What would McQueen do?'" she explained to New York Times fashion critic Cathy Horyn, in a video interview.

"I find it very strange that everybody does seem to have the same themes, you think, 'Gosh, who's talking to who?' Especially underwater this season."

Burton worked with McQueen at his eponymous label before his death. She has spoken of the pressure she felt when she took over from him before, admitting she still worries she isn't getting things right.

The designer has revealed how vital fashion was to McQueen.

"What you wear is making a statement about the period of history you live in. So I think he felt an obligation very much to say every time what he meant. He really wanted to have a message about what we felt about society in a way," she said.

Burton also discussed the changing shape of the industry. She worries too many young people only want to become big name designers, with not enough looking at careers in other aspects of fashion.

"You feel like so many people want to be the designer now, so many people want to be the photographer now.

"What I find quite sad is that you can't find many pattern cutters, you can't find many people who want to do the craft of it," she mused.


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