21/02/2012 19:13 GMT | Updated 22/05/2015 10:12 BST

Exploring The Secrets Of The Hidden Fantasy Forest With McQ (Literally)

WHO: McQ, the diffusion label to Sarah Burton's Alexander McQueen

Kristen McMenamy is showered with leaves during the McQ show finale. Photo:PA Model Kristen McMenamy is showed with leaves during the McQ show finale. Photo:PA

IN A NUTSHELL: It's safe to say that the first ever catwalk collection from McQ was one of the most anticipated shows on the London Fashion Week schedule this season. (It says everything that it had its slot post-Burberry, which is usually something of a LFW grand finale on the Monday). A mixture of menswear and womenswear, it had everything - from typical house of McQueen fare: tartan, pleated kilts, tailored coats, military edge - but with the added unexpected: sculptural cocktail frocks, bondage belts, thigh-high boots and floral tutu prom dresses. And that's not even touching on the spectacular show finale. Think a ghostly white Kristen McMenamy being showerd with leaves, pulling on a rope to reveal a hidden forest (yes, they built an actual forest), and then disappearing off into a woodland cabin. Totally bonkers.

BEG, BORROW OR STEAL: The coats were stunning, the dresses equally so. And the lace finale gowns evoked a gothic beauty more commonly associated with a mainline McQueen collection. We're also thinking it might be about time we experimented with the thigh-high boot. The only thing we'd do without? The space-age updos.

F-ROW: Anna Wintour, Samantha Cameron, Salma Hayek, Natalie Massenet, Hamish Bowles, Harold Tilman, Hilary Alexander, plus every editor going: the fashion big guns.

VERDICT: A beautiful collection, with a suitably spectacular show, McQ really did live up to the hype. It was quite a sight to see the crowds of fashionistas exiting the show through the mysterious McQ forest (which even had a woodland fragrance) stopping to visit Kristen McMenamy in her cabin/bar and coming away with a glass of champagne. Doesn't get much more bizarre than that. But while the show had everyone gasping in awe, at no point did the theatrics overshadow the clothing - which pretty much tells you everything you need to know about the quality of the collection. Bravo, Sarah Burton.

Check out the video below to get a better sense of the spectacle:

View more from the McQ collection in the gallery below: