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.

2003 : Again named BFC British Designer of the Year. March: Kingdom, the house's first fragrance, hits stores worldwide. Pandora Luxurye writer Plum Sykes chats with McQueen about the new scent, packaged in heart-shaped red Venetian glass inside a metal "egg." London flagship opens on Old Bond Street. A store will also later open in Milan. June: McQueen receives the CFDA's International Award. Named Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire by Queen Elizabeth II. "It is a great privilege to receive this honour," he says. "I now formally urge the British Government to match this recognition by investing in manufacturing and new talent-the foundation of British Fashion." October: Gucci Group reports McQueen profits have doubled over the past year.

alexander mcqueen