Style: McQ AW12

While the menswear at McQ AW12 was beautifully tailored, this collection was really all about the girls. Taking the label’s dark romantic heritage as a starting point, Creative Director Sarah Burton invited us into her stunning winter fairy tale vision. As the models crunched over golden leaves, we were presented with a collection that started with severe military outerwear and progressed through embroidered velvet skirts and dresses to the grand finale of tulle ballgowns.

This was the first time the McQueen label has shown in its hometown and the first ever catwalk show for the diffusion line McQ. Still riding high from an amazing 2011, Burton showed us a brand that is confident and strong; in keeping with its heritage, but looking to the future. Only six years old, McQ is their affordable line but the stunning detailing in embroidery and embellishment, and precise cutting showed that affordable can still be luxury.

The New Look shaping in the ballgowns showed a significant departure from last season’s main line collection, which was more¬†architectural. This season was all about ¬†exploring the balance between hard and soft femininity. The last two looks were matching black and white tulle ballgowns with lace overlay in winter florals and brought to mind the evil sorceress and the princess from a fairy tale. As the last model,¬†Kristen McMenamy, made her way back, she grabbed a rope from under the leaves and followed it to a little hut in an illuminated forest at the back of the runway. Was this the woodcutters shed? As she left, we heard dance music coming from backstage. At McQ the happy ending wouldn’t be complete without a good party.

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