Oct 3, 2012
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Honeybees, with a sting, at McQueen show in Paris

Oct 3, 2012

Honeycomb dresses, insect-like visors and caramel corsets cinching their waists, designer Sarah Burton sent a procession of queen bees buzzing into Paris at the Alexander McQueen spring-summer show on Tuesday.

A model presents a creation for Alexander McQueen (AFP, Francois Guillot)

Guests waiting for the show to begin were greeted by a giant screen with nature footage that morphed and spun kaleidoscope-like into the symmetrical patterns beloved of the designer.

As a soundtrack, an insistent hum which turned out to be the buzz of a bee hive, as Burton built her whole collection around that timeless symbol of spring -- adding in a wry commentary on women-as-candy as she went.

For these were no sugar babes: the look was edgy and raw as the first models stepped out in structured little jackets in a black and gold honeycomb motif, flared hips and waists strangled in rigid belts of a honey-like caramel hue.

The crisp caramel reappeared as corsets and collars, and body-sculpting little bustiers glimpsed under wide-necked jackets.

Models present creations for Alexander McQueen (AFP, Francois Guillot)

On their heads, there were bee-like visors in a black resille while dresses were segmented by bands and corsets, subtly suggesting the articulated body and stripes of a bee.

Corsets were belted Elizabethan-style over sheer dresses, with flounced silk skirts, while on others a wide bustle was visible in transparency, including on the final sweeping ball gowns.

By way of conclusion, the lyrics of the 1969 bubblegum hit by The Archies -- "Sugar, ah honey honey / You are my candy girl" -- rang out like a sign-off, sent with more than a touch of humour, by the British designer.

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