Over the past few seasons, Sarah Burton appears to have taken a journey down the garden path—her designs for Alexander McQueen alive with a horticultural bouquet of diverse flora. While this plant life has become the central motif in several of her collections (up to the flower-draped pergolas surrounding the runway for Spring/Summer 2017), it can be understood as Burton’s more feminine continuation of Lee Alexander McQueen’s love of nature. McQueen often celebrated the flower in its many forms—from bud to bloom to decay—and used the symbolism of flowers to imbue his designs with a depth of meaning and a sense of continuity with these many millennia old concepts. Throughout his 18-year career, he centered many collections and designs around specific flowers, including lilies, orchids, roses and cherry blossoms, in addition to using flowers as signifiers of a time period or culture.

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