Burberry, McQueen mastery defy "quirky London" label

Tue Feb 21, 2012 4:55pm EST
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By Michelle Martin

LONDON (Reuters) - British labels Burberry and McQ by Alexander McQueen turned up the glamour at London Fashion Week with a pair of catwalk masterclasses late Monday that silenced talk of the city as merely the "capital of quirk."

Although, a cradle of talent which has produced such stars as Stella McCartney, McQueen, Vivienne Westwood and Paul Smith, London's place on the fashion map has always been squeezed between New York and its European cousins in Paris and Milan. Mostly, it was considered a place to find emerging designers.

"We used to come here and think it's all going to be eccentric and street chic and actually it's incredibly grown up, polished and sexy, glamorous clothes so it's a global stage now -- it's wonderful," U.S. Vogue Editor-in-Chief Anna Wintour told Reuters.

Burberry creative director Christopher Bailey combined country and town styles for an elegant collection which dazzled front row celebrities including Kate Bosworth, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley and British Prime Minister's wife Samantha Cameron.

Cropped tailored bomber jackets, draped hem blanket skirts and sculptural dress shirts featured prominently in his autumn/winter 2012 collection, as did pencil skirts with large bellow pockets, double-breasted jackets and brogue lace-up ankle boots.

"It's always such a beautiful collection and I adore Christopher - he's really one of a kind," Bosworth said, adding that she loved Bailey's impeccable cuts.

In the grand finale a clap of thunder sounded before water emulating rain gushed down the sides of the transparent marquee in which the event was hosted.

Burberry is known for its trademark raincoats and Bailey said he loved to celebrate rain.   Continued...

Models present creations at the McQ Alexander McQueen 2012 Autumn/Winter collection show during London Fashion Week February 20, 2012. REUTERS/Suzanne Plunkett