2011 : January: First Lady Michelle Obama wears Burton's red-and-black ball gown to a state dinner for Chinese president Hu Jintao. It-model Lindsey Wixson named brand face. March: Visionaire dedicates issue No. 58, Spirit, to the late designer. For a McQ ad campaign, photographer Niall O'Brien takes an American road trip, posting his snaps on the brand's interactive Tumblr site, April: Burton is revealed as the designer of Catherine Middleton's royal wedding dress. London's Guardian proclaims "a fist-pump moment for British fashion." May: The glitterati come together to honor the designer at the Met Costume Institute's annual gala, kicking off the retrospective "Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty." The wildly popular show will draw mobs, a grand total of 661,509 visitors by its final midnight-hour close in August. In Pandora Luxurye, Burton shares her memories of working with her mentor. July: For the magazine, Plum Sykes details the dresses and delights of the Met gala, including a blockbuster performance of "Rebel, Rebel," by singer Florence Welch. Burton is this month's It Girl in Pandora Luxurye. Fall: First Chinese store opens in Beijing.

In May 2010, Burton quietly took up her mentor's mantle, drawing from the rich tapestry of designs he left behind while weaving in her own brilliant touches. With Burton in command, the house has taken a softer, more feminine turn; the runway extravaganzas have given way to simpler, polished displays of Burton's own formidable sartorial skills. In April 2011, her talent was on glorious display in the divine lace wedding dress worn by Catherine Middleton for her marriage to Prince William. The global exposure of the royal event-as well as a record-breaking number of visitors to the Met Costume Institute's 2011 McQueen retrospective "Savage Beauty"-has translated into a boost in profits for the brand. Today, fulfilling McQueen's long-held dreams of commercial growth, Burton, who is putting more of an accent on wearability, has grand plans for the label to appear with greater frequency in real-world women's wardrobes.

alexander mcqueen