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In a burst of optimism and opulence, the late Alexander McQueen’s vision was carried on yesterday by the company’s head of women’s wear and his former assistant, Sarah Burton. Salma Hayek Pinault sat front row to support the label’s new direction, which ultimately felt more like a continuation. Inspired by the beauty of nature as it decays, white silk suits transitioned to gold and black gowns adorned with feathers and gold leaf embroidery. Even the shoes, one of McQueen’s specialties, were ornately embellished—this time with butterflies and buckles. “Succeeding Mr. McQueen is a difficult undertaking,” fashion critic Cathy Horn wrote on her New York Times blog. “[Burton] did an excellent job.”

See the entire Alexander McQueen Spring 2011 collection.