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Julien Macdonald at London Fashion Week – Celebrities, Utilitarian Menswear and A Disco Safe Haven
September 24, 2017
Julien Macdonald’s spring/summer 2018 catwalk show transported the audience to a glamour-fuelled safe haven that by the time that Julien Macdonald made his appearance after the final walk and the confetti dropped to a track of disco, no one wanted to leave. Outside was Brexit, homemade bombs in Underground stations, an impending North Korean missile crisis and Donald Trump; inside was a hedonistic celebration of visceral proportions. Couldn’t we just ride out the rest of London Fashion Week (and the next several years) in the club-lit arches of the Bankside Vaults, sipping CÎROC cocktails?
On arrival (like what we did there, CÎROC?), the celebrity-strewn front row was an indication that the Julien Macdonald was the show to be at over London Fashion Week.
As a counterpunch to his overtly sexed-up womenswear, the men’s offering, following Julien’s male template, was reductive and utilitarian, but still scattered with Julien Macdonald’s trademark sparkle: fitted roll-neck jumpers swathed in ebony bugle beads, a gold-studded hoodie, a shimmering bomber jacket and panelled floral shirting topped with shoulder boards. The entire collection was underscored in black – black skinny jeans, black strapping loosely hanging from models’ waists and black boots by Mason with more strapping – wrapping us up and cocooning us even more from the outside world.
Our standout piece was the bugle-beaded jumper. The precision gave it a second-skin feel; a not-surprising feat from a designer who cut his teeth as head designer of knitwear at both Chanel and Karl Lagerfeld in the late nineties and later replaced Alexander McQueen at Givenchy as creative director. A true British fashion success story (Julien Macdonald has won numerous awards, was appointed an OBE and is a mainstay on television), the spring/summer 2018 catwalk show felt a bit like a farewell party, a final hurrah as the United Kingdom prepares to exit the European Union, changing the British fashion industry forever.
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