The best part about London fashion week was getting to see McQ by Alexander McQueen — the houses’ 2nd line — on the catwalk for the first time ever since their launch 6 years ago. London was thrilled to have McQueen being represented in his home town again, even if it was going to be a teaser show to advertise the opening of McQ’s first store on Dover street this spring. But Sarah Burton doesn’t do anything half-way and treated London to a luxe runway show and theatrical performance like no other, not to mention a collection that could have easily walked the Alexander McQueen runway.
Burton kept the elements of the McQueen aesthetic — the romance, the dark glamour, the mind-blowing tailoring — and the nipped in waists they are famous for and turned out a luxe and accessible collection. As she explained, the way to make McQ work was to start with the assumption that clothes should be beautiful, at any price. The show stopper was one of the last dresses down the runway (bottom right above), an evening dress with a 50’s silhouette – nipped in waist, strapless with a full skirt underneath layers of tulle — with burnt-out velvet detail on the skirt and along the decollete and shoulders. Simply stunning.
London followed New Yorks lead in many trends – fur, shearling, peplums, but the pants were sleeker (not many cropped full pants) and color and prints were everywhere — there were times when I felt I had time warped to the Spring collections. Mary Katrantsou and Matthew Williamson are two flawless examples of the latter (color and prints) with Mary looking for new silhouettes to emphasize her embroidery and enhancements and of course, to frame those delicious prints that have propelled her into the class of London’s fashion elites. Williamson brought his traditional embellishments of color and glamour (his calling cards) to a collection of urban chic sports wear that continued with his pre-fall theme of Russion interiors (brocades). I’ve been dreaming about owning the fabulous pastel rainbow fox coat that opened the show (middle left below). Jonathan Saunders was taken with brown, red and lilac this fall and presented a collection, influenced by equestrian chic, full of extraordinary off combinations that are a Saunders signature.
I’ll leave you with some of my other favorites from London’s 2012 Fall/Winter collections. Stay tuned to get the Italian slant on Fall 2012 as Fashion Week moves to Milan.
1st group – McQ by Alexander McQueen Fall Winter 2012.
2nd group – clockwise from top left: Mary Katrantsou, Mary Katrantsou, Matthew Williamson, Jonathan Saunders, Jonathan Saunders, Matthew Williamson. All Fall/Winter 2012.
3rd group – clockwise from top left: Christopher Kane, David Koma, Emilio de la Morena, ALC, Paul Smith, Temperly London. All Fall/Winter 2012.