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Julien Macdonald at London Fashion Week – Celebrities, Utilitarian Menswear and A Disco Safe Haven

September 24, 2017

Fashion | by Courtney Blackman


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.

Julien Macdonald Spring Summer 2018 Show
Dustin Lance Black and Tom Daley attend Julien Macdonald. Photograph by Dave Benett/Getty Images
Julien Macdonald Spring Summer 2018 Show
Mr Eazi attends Julien Macdonald. Photograph by Dave Benett/Getty Images
Julien Macdonald Spring Summer 2018 Show
Kyle De Volle attends Julien Macdonald. Photograph by Dave Benett/Getty Images
Julien Macdonald Spring Summer 2018 Show
Max and Thomas Evans attend Julien Macdonald. Photograph by Dave Benett/Getty Images
Julien Macdonald Spring Summer 2018 Show
Rain Dove and Daniel Lismore attend Julien Macdonald. Photograph by Dave Benett/Getty Images
Julien Macdonald Spring Summer 2018 Show
Dustin Lance Black, Julien Macdonald and Tom Daley. Photograph by Dave Benett/Getty Images

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.

Candid Magazine Julien Macdonald

Candid Magazine Julien Macdonald

Candid Magazine Julien Macdonald

Candid Magazine Julien Macdonald

Candid Magazine Julien Macdonald

Candid Magazine Julien Macdonald

Candid Magazine Julien Macdonald

Candid Magazine Julien Macdonald

Candid Magazine Julien Macdonald

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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