Julien Macdonald Julien Macdonald

What a whirlwind start to the year!

What a whirlwind start to the year! My studio and atelier in the heart of Notting Hill has been a hive of activity in the run up to my Autumn/Winter 2016 collection, showcased during London Fashion Week. Everything was turned upside down and employees more than doubled in order to turn my sketches into show-stopping catwalk creations. My office was the first to transform, furniture was quickly replaced in order to make way for our knitwear studio with machines, mood boards and countless knitwear swatches filling the room. It is a small price to pay in order to have a collection made under your own roof! The two months before the show is always chaotic and crazy but there is a buzz only fashion week can bring, the atmosphere is stressful but electric, I love it!

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The setting for this season’s collection was the fabulous One Mayfair. The crowd gathered around and the dramatic gothic interior of the church transformed with lasers, smoke and music to become the perfect environment for my latest collection. The image below captures the pinnacle of the show as all of the models group together for the finale!

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The vaults below the church acted as the backstage area, which came alive from 6am on show day. Filled with hair & makeup teams, models, journalists, cameras and my 56 piece collection it was jam packed with glitz and glamour. I make sure the music is loud beforehand to build up momentum, it’s important the energy pre-show is high and the team enjoy it, it is London Fashion Week after all! Thirty minutes before show time we clear press away and it’s my last chance to be with the collection before I show it to the global media. Myself, dressers and the hair & make up teams do our final checks, making sure every hair is in place and sewing on the last of the crystals!

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The glamour begins from the moment the guests arrive. It was lights camera action outside One Mayfair as we brought high-octane glamour to a very grey and wet Saturday. It was great to see so many famous faces come out to support me, we almost caused a road block as the crowds gathered. The front row was packed full of my fashion favourites and best celebrity friends, pictured below is Zara Martin, Millie Mackintosh, Rosie Fortescue, Alice Naylor-Leyland and Alicia Rountree.

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After my debut into menswear in September I couldn’t wait to show how it had evolved as I moved into tailoring. Alongside my signature knitwear, this season I introduced formalwear with my take on the traditional tuxedo and some fabulous embellishments. It has been so much fun for me and a real challenge, having designed for women for so long I love that I now get to enjoy wearing my own designs too!

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Once the show was over, it didn’t stop there. This season I invited my closest friends to join me on the alter of the venue and to enjoy a cocktail and music by the fabulous Smokin Jo. Post show, in between saying hello to my guests I keep professional as TV crews and media lined up to interview me and to hear about the inspiration behind my latest collection. It also gives me a chance to welcome my VIPs and thank them personally for their support, I love the post show picture of us below (all wearing Julien Macdonald of course!)

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The inspiration this season was taken from my recent travels – I love modern architecture and wanted to create a slick, contemporary collection to encapsulate this feeling, ready for today’s young Hollywood starlets. In the image below, you can see the detailed embellishments that adorn the body, creating the illusion of metallic armour. Flashes of skin and thousands of crystals shimmer throughout, creating a modern and glamorous collection.

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Another point of inspiration for my latest collection came from my recent trip to LA, where I met with some extremely influential stylists who are so key to our industry. I was thrilled when top celebrity stylist Monica Rose dressed the model of the moment Gigi Hadid for the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue Launch red carpet event. Below you can see her Instagram post from when she wore the embellished jumpsuit from the SS16 collection – she looked sensational.

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February is always a month packed full of fashion, award shows and endless red carpets! Straight after the show there was no rest as we had the Elle Style Awards, where Bella Hadid became the first person to wear the new collection. She wore a fabulous embellished and fringed knit bodysuit which perfectly suited Bella’s signature gothic look– she was absolutely stunning and really stood out from the crowd.

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The Brit Awards followed on the next evening and you may have spotted supermodel Jourdan Dunn in a crystal and sequin embellished gown hot off the catwalk – she was a complete knock out and was in my opinion the best dressed of the night (Although maybe I am a bit biased!)

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It has currently been a time of rest post show, however it won’t be long until the sketches begin and we get well underway looking towards Spring Summer 17.

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