McQueen reigns again on London catwalk as label returns home in style

view gallery VIEW GALLERY

Two years after the designer's death, Sarah Burton's McQ makes its runway debut. Fashion Editor Susannah Frankel reports

It is more than a decade since the Alexander McQueen name was a
presence at London Fashion Week. Last night, Sarah Burton, that
company's creative director since its founder's death a little over
two years ago now, showed the McQueen second line, McQ in the
British capital.

On a catwalk strewn with fallen leaves, models, male and female, came out in military great coats, Black Watch tartans, quilted velvet and tulle scattered with brightly coloured blooms. McQ was in launched in 2006 but this was its runway debut. The Alexander McQueen main line will be shown in Paris in two weeks.

McQueen being McQueen, however, while the collection was not such a grand affair as its rarefied big sister, its presentation was never going to be anything less than spectacular.

With that in mind, the show closed with American supermodel Kristen McMenamy entering an absinthe hut in a never-ending forest that appeared as if by magic and dressed, conversely, from head-to-toe in white, her wasp-waisted overblown ballerina gown scattered with velvet foliage.

If London remains predominantly famous for its fledgling names, the exception that proves the rule is Burberry, a globally recognised international brand with the money and power behind it to match.

Burberry Prorsum has been showcased in the British capital since 2008 (prior to that the show was in Milan) and it gives London Fashion Week an ultra-glossy and unusually corporate international lift.

Still, the label is quintessentially British at heart as could be seen in yesterday's procession of outerwear. Blanket coats, bombers, waxed jackets and of course the label's famous trench coat, this time cut in a gabardine and tweed mix, remain the core of its business.

Christopher Bailey, Burberry's creative director, understands this sensibility well. More typically English references came in the form of flared riding skirts, voluminous dress shirts borrowed from men, animal print T-shirts, and for the country-house soiree, fringed dresses and quilted velvet in the colour of the forthcoming autumn season: ox-blood.

Christopher Kane is a man who is known for taking the potentially stuffy clichés of the bourgeois wardrobe and twisting them slightly – or indeed quite a lot. His collection was inspired, he said, by art photographer Joseph Szabo's portraits of American teenagers and the ambivalence of adolescence. Here was a woman – or in fact a girl – who strode down the runway in leather and pinstripe, velvet and moire, all in hard as nails colours – royal blue, true red, purple and predominantly black – and emphatically heavy square-toed ankle boots and Mary-Jane shoes.

If last season Kane invested the ubiquitous reference to mid-20th haute couture with a homespun feel, this time he darkened it to the point where it was almost gothic, and certainly mournful, in flavour. Black roses on narrow knee-length dresses were more nasty than nice; the ribbons threaded through neck-and waist-lines, similarly, came not in fluttering silks but padded black leather tied into stiff bows.

Chunky knit jumpers, cigarette pants and skinny leather coats only added to the impression of ferocity more than overt femininity in the stereotypical sense of the word.

Giles Deacon's woman was a more grown-up creature although one who clearly also has a far from conventional heart. "The further adventures of the disco Jacobean fairytale," was how the designer summed up his show.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookPart of The Independent’s new eBook series The Great Composers
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Dennis speaks to his French teacher
tvThe Boy in the Dress, TV review
News
Members and supporters of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) community walk with a rainbow flag during a rally in July
news
Sport
sportSo, how closely were you paying attention during 2014?
News
americasVideo message warns Sean Paul to stay away from Maldives New Year's Eve concert
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Fashion

    Selby Jennings: VP/SVP Credit Quant- NY- Investment Bank

    Not specified: Selby Jennings: VP/SVP Credit Quant Top tier investment bank i...

    Ashdown Group: Senior Marketing Executive- City of London, Old Street

    £40000 - £43000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Senior Marketing Executiv...

    Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager

    £40000 - £43000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: An international organisa...

    Ashdown Group: Internal Recruiter -Rugby, Warwickshire

    £25000 - £30000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Internal Recruiter -Rugby, Warwicksh...

    Day In a Page

    Aren’t you glad you didn’t say that? The worst wince-and-look-away quotes of the year

    Aren’t you glad you didn’t say that?

    The worst wince-and-look-away quotes of the year
    Hollande's vanity project is on a high-speed track to the middle of nowhere

    Vanity project on a high-speed track to nowhere

    France’s TGV network has become mired in controversy
    Sports Quiz of the Year

    Sports Quiz of the Year

    So, how closely were you paying attention during 2014?
    Alexander Armstrong on insulting Mary Berry, his love of 'Bargain Hunt', and life as a llama farmer

    Alexander Armstrong on insulting Mary Berry and his love of 'Bargain Hunt'

    From Armstrong and Miller to Pointless
    Sanchez helps Gunners hold on after Giroud's moment of madness

    Sanchez helps Gunners hold on

    Olivier Giroud's moment of madness nearly costs them
    A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

    Christmas without hope

    Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
    After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

    The 'Black Museum'

    After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
    No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

    No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

    Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
    Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

    Chilly Christmas

    Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
    Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

    Homeless Veterans appeal

    In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
    Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

    'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

    Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
    Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

    Ed Balls interview

    'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
    He's behind you, dude!

    US stars in UK panto

    From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
    Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

    Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

    What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
    Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

    Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

    Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect