Sarah Burton began the fall 2012 runway at Paris fashion week through a series of innocently white dresses with flirty hemlines and girlish leg warmers. The McQueen collection advanced through taupe, mauve and gray, perfectly constructed architectural forms of organic materials like goat and lamb fur, dandelions and ostrich feathers.

Each dress a more vibrant, sensual stage of growth, Burton’s fourth collection since McQueen’s death commemorates the obsessive perfectionism that runs deep within the brand’s foundation, yet with less despair. Burton aimed for a “lightness,” a collection that would exalt “a beautiful future, positivity, optimism.”

Finalizing the parade was s statuesque, multi-textured black gown, but its darkness exuded experiential elegance rather than misery. Strength brought about by wisdom is the new walk of the McQueen runway.

Images courtesy of Monica Feudi /