Sarah Burton definitely isn't shying away from the weight of legacy she's inherited. Her venue was La Conciergerie, Marie Antoinette's prison and the site of an Alexander "Lee" McQueen show that was made memorable by the presence on the catwalk of live wolves (doped-up wolves or perhaps just some particularly lupine dogs, but still). No such threat of danger tonight, though the crackling neon lights were a reminder of McQueen's asylum show and the theme—"The Ice Queen and her court"—had the suitably chilly ring of a vintage McQueen ritual. The collection furthermore drew on what the show notes called "heritage silhouettes."

What this all boiled down to was Burton skimming off the top of her vast reconceptualization of the house aesthetic to produce three dozen couture pieces reflecting that aesthetic at its purest. Literally. As in white-light burning bright. In the frenzied backstage press of congratulations, the designer could barely gasp one word to define her intent: "Icy." But it wasn't really that cold. What Burton designed had a blurry-edged softness, which came from the fur that lined hems, cuffs, and shoulder seams. The material wrapped the skirt of a drop-waist halterneck dress or swathed the hood of a sleeveless sheath. And when it wasn't fur, it was frayed, streaming organza that blurred the lines. (Amid such extravagant touches, you weren't likely to forget the rumor that Kate Middleton has selected the house to design her wedding gown.)

Still, these were scarcely clothes for the real world. That wasn't really the point. It felt much more like Burton wanted to remind the planet that she isn't channeling the McQueen DNA, she is the McQueen DNA. Hence, those heritage silhouettes with their buoyant trains of silk organza or undulating threads of tulle or the harnesses that evoked such deliberately troubling associations. The most (quietly) spectacular piece was a gown with a body collaged from broken china, which erupted into a froth of organza. McQueen himself might have injected an edge of barely suppressed violence into such a piece. Here, serenity ruled. Which, in the interests of future princesses everywhere, is probably a wise option.