Sarah Burton’s spring collection for Alexander McQueen referenced the floral frock coats created by the Huguenot silk weavers who settled in Spitalfields, East London, in the 17th century, having escaped religious persecution in France. The weavers often arrived with little more than the clothes on their backs and the flower seeds and bulbs in their pockets, the latter of which are said to have sold or scattered around the neighborhood. Today, Spitalfields hosts a big fruit, vegetable, and flower market, but behind the rows of terrace houses there is an array of gardens filled with English staples such as irises, forget-me-nots, cornflowers, English roses, lilies, and tulips—all of which cropped up on Burton’s runway.
A hidden garden at 21 Wilkes Street, in East London
Alexander McQueen Spring/ Summer ’16