Though a good deal of her clothing is made by hand, Sarah Burton doesn't envision adding a couture collection to her Alexander McQueen offering.
"We do so many collections, and I want each one to be special," Burton said in a recent interview. "There is always a lot done by hand, even for the pre-collection. I know this is not Paris couture, but in our humble way we are working towards it."
Last year Burton led a team of lacemakers and seamstresses to create the custom wedding dress that Kate Middleton wore to marry Prince William. She also has a handful of private clients who commission custom clothing on occasion. Beyond that work, Burton says she's content with the company's "amazing ability to develop any collection with our technicians, with students and with people working by hand" in the ready-to-wear lines.
Still, other fashion houses are expanding their own handmade offering. Dolce & Gabbana recently confirmed that it will stage a test-run couture show in Sicily later this month, and Versace recently added a limited collection of fine jewelry to its haute couture offering.
Photo: A look from Alexander McQueen's Fall 2012 collection.