If there was one word to describe McQ by Alexander McQueen's London show, it would be dramatic. Models, decked out in military-inspired ensembles, walked a darkly lit runway full of fantastical touches, including a hidden rope at the finale that led to a fairy-tale cottage. And if that wasn't enough, the hair was just as surreal, with models donning tightly pulled, bagel-shaped buns atop their heads. Will the trend catch on? Donut (sorry) count on it. But after such an impressive first showing for the diffusion line, we can hardly wait to see what the house of McQueen will offer in upcoming seasons.
Tonight's McQ by Alexander McQueen lineup was a breathtaking showcase of stylized beauty and fashion fantasy. Considering this was the diffusion line's first-ever showing during London Fashion Week, we'd say the bar has been set pretty high. Immersed in dark tones, rich fabrics, and even richer embellishments (think velvet embroidered onto sheer lace), each nipped-waist dress marched out onto the leaf-ridden runway with just the right amount of retro nostalgia and tough-girl attitude. Standout pieces ranged from the super-structured outerwear and signature tartan plaid dress with sheer lace detailing to the brocade-felt skirts and chunky harness-inspired belts. If the impeccable designs alone weren't enough to move you into a state of awe, then tales of the spectacular finale certainly will. As model Kristen McMenamy took her final turn in an ivory lace gown, all went dark except for a spotlight overhead. From there, gold flecks were showered over her from above, she found a rope hidden beneath the foliage, and she pulled herself to the end of the catwalk where a dark enchanted forest awaited her. I promise, I am not making this up. High drama and poetic undertones aside, this collection was exquisite and featured all the tell-tale tailoring that we've come to revere from McQueen wares. Get the breakdown below.
- Trends: Tulle ballerina skirts, nipped-waists, embellished lace and velvet, wide belts, long gloves, and super structured outerwear.
- Colors: Black, crimson red, ivory, military green, and pops of colorful floral applique.
- Key Piece: The nipped-waist shapes ruled, especially the final ivory lace dress.
- Accessories: Chunky wide belts, opera-length gloves, fur neck wraps, and lace-up combat-style boots.
- Who Would Wear It: The girl who loves a strong, yet ultrafeminine silhouette like Jessica Chastain, Rose Byrne, and Zoe Saldana.
>> The first McQ show to grace London in so many years was marked by a triumphant — and theatrical — return. On a runway strewn with autumnal leaves and a set complete with a wintery forest, Sarah Burton offered up khaki colorblocked coats, embellished velvet frocks, full-skirted tartan, and fantastical tulle-and-flower confections. "A love story, a love of McQueen and a love of great British style — from military coats to overblown ball gowns," the show notes explained. And it was.
>> This season, the quintessential "girl" color gets a much-needed update. Spotted on the Spring 2011 runways of everyone from Costume National to Valentino — and in every shade from barely-there pastels to super-bright magenta — pink is definitely the hue of the season. But don't expect to find the bubble gum pop and saccharine sweetness of Summers past — this season's take is unexpectedly edgy and all grown up. Look for pieces with modern, pared-down silhouettes and surprising details: accessories in unpredictable materials; dresses in clean, breezy shapes; and jewelry that walks the line between delicate and tough. Click through to shop our top picks from Cacharel, Prada, 3.1 Phillip Lim, Matthew Williamson and more in the slideshow.
After a brief break from filming Gossip Girl, Leighton Meester is back and looking better than ever. Her combination of plaid, tweed, and patent looked cool, especially the red Chanel handbag and gray, tweed McQ coat. A bevy of black, leather gloves, pumps, and opaque tights balanced the fabric-friendly ensemble. Get Leighton's exact coat in a darker shade and other like items here.