Sarah Burton just might have been the least-envied woman in the fashion biz. Albeit, holding the reins of a grand fashion empire is something Ryerson fashion kids dream about with a gleam hope in their starry eyes, but kids, I have a feeling we’re not in Toronto any more.

She was recently appointed with the extremely daunting task to replace the late Alexander McQueen as creative director of his synonymous line. Carrying on anyone’s legacy is no piece of cake, let alone that of one of the most wildly imaginative forces in fashion. It’s like Burton just got served a heaping plate of creative power doused in cold sweat, with some extreme tragedy on the side. No pressure.

Needless to say, Burton’s first collection in the spotlight – something she’d avoided for the 14 years she worked on McQueen’s side – was arguably the most anticipated show of Paris Fashion Week, which drew to a close yesterday.

So what’s a girl do? She wows them. While Burton toned down the outlandish theatrics of the usual McQueen show, she delivered the drama with huge dresses made of pheasant feathers, woven basket corsets and collars embellished with monarch butterflies. No armadillo heels, but Burton stayed true with some of McQueen’s other signatures like expert tailoring and dreamy prints.

The collection was a reverie of achingly beautiful clothes, the kind of thing you’d expect to see on the headmistress of the forest sprites – and for the sake of reality, up on the red carpet.

by Elli Stuhler