London Fashion Week 2012: Samantha Cameron sits front row at McQ"s hair-raising show

Quick change! Samantha Cameron swaps trouser suit for daring pink dress as she sits front row at McQ's hair-raising show

She is the ambassador for the British Fashion Council and has quite the eye for fashion herself.

So it was no surprise to see Samantha Cameron more than holding her own among the fashion pack as she mingled with the cool kids at the McQ show last night.

Mrs Cameron, who earlier that day had worn a black trouser suit and Jonathan Saunders top, swapped the conservative look for a dusky pink silk dress with a rather daring hemline.

The PM's wife provided a splash of colour in the dark surroundings of the show's venue – The Old Sorting Office Building in central London – which had been transformed into an enchanted forest with a theatrical scene of moonlit woodland and a carpet of autumnal leaves on the floor.

Quick change: Samantha Cameron swapped her black trouser suit and Jonathan Saunders top for a pink silk dress at the McQ show

Quick change: Samantha Cameron swapped her black trouser suit and Jonathan Saunders top for a pink silk dress at the McQ show

Quick change: Mrs Cameron swapped her black trouser suit for a pretty pink silk dress for the McQ show

From right: Salma Hayek; U.S. Vogue editor Anna Wintour; U.S. Vogue editor-at-large Hamish Bowles; Caroline Rush, joint chief executive of the British Fashion Council; Samantha Cameron

From right: Salma Hayek; U.S. Vogue editor Anna Wintour; U.S. Vogue editor-at-large Hamish Bowles; Caroline Rush, joint chief executive of the British Fashion Council; Samantha Cameron

Sober: Samantha Cameron in Joseph trouser suit and Jonathan Saunders shirt, poses with BFC chief executive Caroline Rush at the Christopher Kane autumn/winter 2012 show today

Sober: Samantha Cameron in Joseph trouser suit and Jonathan Saunders shirt, poses with BFC chief executive Caroline Rush at the Christopher Kane autumn/winter 2012 show today

Conservative: Earlier in the day, Samantha Cameron, posing with BFC chief executive Caroline Rush, attended the Christopher Kane, Erdem and Burberry shows wearing a Joseph trouser suit and Jonathan Saunders shirt

Joining Samantha Cameron on the front row was Salma Hayek, who chose a silk draped animal print dress.

The actress, 45, who attended the
show with her husband, Francois-Henri Pinault, who is head of luxury
fashion conglomerate PPR, said afterwards: 'The show was truly
sensational – really, really amazing – not at all what I was expecting.
The clothes were already unforgettable and extraordinary.

'Sarah Burton set the bar really high – it makes me nervous it is so good. What is she going to do for McQueen now

'It was so mind-blowingly extraordinary – every single piece – and very wearable – stuff we can all wear.'

She added that it was the first time she had attended a show during London Fashion Week, saying she had been 'spoilt'.

Spoilt: The actress said it was her first time at a London Fashion Week show

Spoilt: The actress said it was her first time at a London Fashion Week show

Spoiled: The actress said it was her first time at a London Fashion Week show

Great day out: Franois-Henri Pinault and Salma Hayek seen at the McQ Alexander Mcqueen Autumn/Winter 2012 show at the Old Sorting Office

Great day out: Franois-Henri Pinault and Salma Hayek seen at the McQ Alexander Mcqueen Autumn/Winter 2012 show at the Old Sorting Office

'This was about a love of McQueen and everything we do,' said designer Sarah Burton backstage after the McQ show. 'It feels great to be here,' she added.

The McQ look certainly seemed to please the crowd, who greeted Burton’s brief appearance with thunderous applause.

She has been riding high since gaining the royal wedding gown commission – by far the most coveted of the last year – and was named Britain’s designer of the year for her efforts.

Burton has brought the McQueen house continued glory since taking over after the founder’s death two years ago, and the company’s reputation has also soared since an exhibition of his spectacular gowns broke museum records in New York.

Monday’s show marked the first ever McQ catwalk show, and the fashion house's first London exhibit since Alexander McQueen's suicide shocked the fashion world in 2010.

Atmospheric: The Old Sorting Office in Holborn, central London, was transformed into a forest for the catwalk event

Atmospheric: The Old Sorting Office in Holborn, central London, was transformed into a forest for the catwalk event

MCQ by ALEXANDER MCQUEEN: A MILITARY-THEMED CATWALK DEBUT THAT ELEVATED THIS LABEL TO HIGH FASHION

In an enchanted forest, the floor
carpeted with fallen leaves, Sarah Burton unveiled the first ever
catwalk show for Alexander McQueen's McQ label – and she chose the
brand's hometown of London to do it.

The
show was a major departure from McQ's previously street style vibe –
there was no denim, no tartan. Instead, there was high fashion. Military
style coats in black and forest green had cinched waists but wonderful
volume, created by layers of tulle underneath. Prom dresses, slim
leather overcoats, thigh-length boots.

Elsewhere,
more tulle – this time on an attitudey prom dress, sewn with thousands
of colourful petals. Lapels were wide, jackets were neat. There was
velvet, wool and heavy embroidery: luxury fabrics that took this label
to a new level.

I loved the
military belts with gold chains, the perfectly cut coats and the
luxurious velvet – and of course, that gravity-defying hair.

DEBORAH ARTHURS

Uncompromising: The unusual hairstyle given to the models at the McQ show

Tulle netting provided volume for a floral skirt, while a neat silhouette was maintained with belted jackets

Work of art: Models had gravity-defying sculptural hair styles at the military-inspired McQ show

A carpet of leaves created a forest feel inside the London venue

A carpet of leaves created a forest feel inside the London venue

Military: The show was a marked departure for McQ which previously focused on more casual clothing designs

Military: The show was a marked departure for McQ which previously focused on more casual clothing designs

Military: The show was a marked departure for McQ which previously focused on more casual clothing designs

Texture: Embroidered skirt, tightly belted with a fur gilet and slim sleeves

Embroidered crimson velvet

Texture: A sleeveless dress embroidered with leaf motif

Accomplished: Intricate techniques such as heavy
embroidery, structured form and rich fabrics marked this out as skilful
collection

The forest theme was continued with a leaf motif on a silk, velvet and lace prom dress

Thousands of petals gave colour and texture to a black tulle dress - an example of the touches that elevated the McQ line from street style to high fashion

Repositioned: A velvet overlay with leaf motif,
layers of tulle; thousands of petals giving colour and texture to a
black tulle dress – a few examples of the touches that elevated the McQ
line from street style to high fashion


Hair-raising: Models' hair was piled up on top of the their heads in perfect circular sculptures

Hair-raising: Models' hair was piled up on top of the their heads in perfect circular sculptures