It started with Burberry, then Stella McCartney, and now McQ. Quintessential British names have been returning to London Fashion Week to proclaim their filial fondness. Alexander McQueen’s second line, which will also open its first London store this spring, debuted on a fairy-tale runway strewn with fallen leaves as models marched under the wide brim of halo-like buns in voluminous 1940’s shapes and silhouettes.

Belted military coats, regimental tartans, red velvet and tulle embroidered with bright flowers—were we really watching a diffusion line? According to the woman at the helm, Sarah Burton, yes, this is exactly how she wanted it. And if anyone knew how to bring theatrics, it was the late McQueen and his dramatic vision that invigorated London in the mid-nineties.

For McQ, Burton summoned Kristen McMenamy, that female embodiment of irreverent wildness, who emerged in a couture-like white tulle gown to perform a final tug of the rope, launching a cascade of leaves to complete the enchanted forest. A mix of thrill and a sense of déjà vu, Burton took McQ back to the brand’s roots to chilling, otherworldly effect. Diffusion lines everywhere should to take note.

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