Catwalk

Julien Macdonald

What’s a London Fashion Week stalwart to do when he’s sat out a couple of seasons' catwalks and wants to make a grand re-entrance? If he’s Julien Macdonald the answer is, of course, pack his front row full of pop princesses and It-girls, show one of the collections of his life and finish everything off with a lavish ticker-tape parade to Elvis’ Viva Las Vegas.

While Macdonald has erred towards his signature elaborate knitwear in recent seasons, that took a backseat today to dresses: specifically, itsy-bitsy, dripping-with-beading, cut-to-the-bone pieces that you won’t see anywhere but on the red carpet. Or a billionaire’s yacht. Or, perhaps, The Saturdays, all five of whom spent the whole show snapping away on their iPhones.

It was tightly edited collection that ran the gamut from micro-mini to floor-length and slashed-through the thigh, many of the pieces founded on sheer mesh and worked with beading and sequins and lace so that they swished away from the body in fringing as the girls walked. One standout sheath was literally a stripe of blue sequins running in a vertical line down the front and the back, barely preserving the model’s modesty.

There were ‘60s references in a series of sequinned mini dresses that came belted at the waist and in paintbox colours, and one lone cocktail confection of white feathers. But on the whole, the palette was a sultry mix of gunmetal, gold and peacock while the girls’ hair, pulled back into messy ponytails with long strands brushed over their faces, added a note of wild abandon.

Even though Julien Macdonald hasn't been absent from the catwalk schedule for so long, it feels like much longer since we’ve seen this Julien: the fun, kitch, out there, glamour for glamour’s sake Julien.

And if his ecstatic finale walk down the runway - a model on each arm and gold ticker-tape streaming down on him - was anything to go by, he knew it, too.

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