Quintessential English style hits London Fashion

Mon Feb 20, 2012 9:15pm EST
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By Li-mei Hoang and Michelle Martin

LONDON (Reuters) - Traditional English fabrics like felts, velvets, tweed and tartan hit the catwalks as Burberry and McQ by Alexander McQueen revealed their autumn/winter 2012 collections in extravagant shows at London Fashion Week.

McQ creative director Sarah Burton, who designed the wedding dress Kate Middleton wore for her marriage to Britain's Prince William last April, dressed her models for Monday's show in belted khaki military outfits featuring large pockets teamed with shiny leather lace-up stiletto boots and big hair.

Oxblood-colored dresses, black tulle dresses with colorful floral embellishments and tartan dresses with sheer sleeves also featured on a runway covered in autumnal leaves at a former postal sorting office in central London.

"Even for her it was extraordinary," actress Salma Hayek said of Burton's collection after the show, adding that she was hankering after one of the floral dresses which Burton sent down the runway.

In a statement McQ said the collection was about "a love story, a love of McQueen and a love of great British style."

McQueen, one of the bright lights of the British fashion scene, died in 2010.

Earlier in the day, Burberry's creative director Christopher Bailey evoked the British countryside by sending models in T-shirts with bird motifs down the runway at a celebrity-packed show.

Tweed caps, an umbrella with a carved duck head handle, corduroy skirts and quilted jackets were among his creations, while peplum skirts, tiered fringe dresses and necklines embellished with brushed stone embroidery also wowed the audience.   Continued...

Girls' Generation singers (L - R) Seohyun, Yoona and Tiffany arrive at the Burberry 2012 Autumn/Winter womenswear collection show during London Fashion Week in London February 20, 2012. REUTERS/Olivia Harris