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By
AFP
Published
Feb 22, 2015
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Macdonald channels Crown Jewels at London show

By
AFP
Published
Feb 22, 2015

Julien Macdonald took his inspiration from Britain's Crown Jewels for his London Fashion Week show on Saturday, mixing intense colours with metallics on the signature sexy gowns that have made him a red carpet favourite.

In the spectacular surroundings of the Foreign Office, the British designer showed figure-hugging evening gowns and cocktail dresses in sapphire blue, ruby red and emerald green, embellished with black embroidery, black lace and gun-metal crystals.

Julien MacDonald London Fashion Week fall-winter 2015/16 - PixelFormula


"I went to the Tower of London and I saw the Crown Jewels, and I loved all the colours," said Macdonald, a former creative director of Givenchy and ex-head of knitwear at Chanel, whose eponymous label is worn by A-listers including Beyonce.

The Crown Jewels include crowns, sceptres, orbs, rings, swords, bracelets and robes of monarchs dating back to the 12th century.

As well as using royal colours, Macdonald turned to modern forms the satins and velvet worn by the aristocracy of old, engineered for extra stretch and lustre.

"It's all about things that shine," he told reporters backstage after the show.

"It's a modern interpretation of a very traditional theme... things that traditionally would have been worn by the royal family."

Formula One heiress Tamara Ecclestone was in the front row with her 11-month-old daughter Sophia to watch the show, which also included shimmering metallic gowns which seemed to melt over the models' bodies.

"It's hard to make things which are hard, like chain and metal, look soft and feminine and sophisticated -- but that's what I've spent 20 years trying to do!" Macdonald said.

Earlier at funky British label Sibling, bright colours and figure-hugging dresses were also the name of the game, although the inspiration was more rock chick than royal.

The models wore fluffy black mohicans and spiky, backcombed wigs, and on their bodies, knitted dresses in bright striped patterns and skirt suits and frocks in vivid orange or candy coloured pinstripes.

"We've got every shade of orange and every shade of pink, and every texture -- whether it's the wool, the latex, the lurex or the sequins," Sid Bryan, one of the three designers behind Sibling, told AFP backstage.

For all the punky attitude of the collection, the silhouettes were elegant and, for such bold colours and fabrics, the clothes seemed surprisingly wearable.

"There was a move to make this show really chic," Bryan acknowledged, while the show notes described the clothes as a "youthful reimagining of sophisticated lady chic".

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