Beijing store splash leaves mark of impression on Alexander McQueen's designer Sarah Burton
All eyes are on Beijing as a bevy of stores including Margiela, Marni and Etro have opened in the capital in the space of just two weeks.
For mainland fashionistas and those visiting from Hong Kong, the biggest name on the calendar was Alexander McQueen, which finds a new home in Beijing's Sanlitun North Village in partnership with Hong Kong's Joyce.
Headed by Sarah Burton since McQueen's suicide last year, the label celebrated with a small cocktail party last week in the new store for VIPs and celebrity guests, and an intimate dinner and exclusive fashion show at the 798 art district.
It was the designer's first visit to the mainland and the down-to-earth Burton appeared to be impressed. 'When I got to Beijing, I couldn't believe it. It's so forward and so cool,' she said at the party. 'There's such a sense of individual style and the people seem really excited about fashion. It's brilliant!'
The brand's autumn-winter 2011 fashion show was recreated for the first time in Asia at 798 for only 300 guests. A dramatic fall by one of the models in skyscraper cut-out wedges even added to the electricity in the air.
Top Chinese models including Liu Xu and Zhang Xuchao stalked the runways, while Hong Kong-based socialite Wan Baobao and British-based designers Peter Pilotto and Christopher De Vos were all there to celebrate the big event, along with Lane Crawford and Joyce managers Sarah Rutson, Andrew Keith and Jennifer Woo.