Julien MacDonald; What’s Going On?
Mirror mosaics, feathers and a myriad of tiny crystals bought Julien Macdonald’s elaborate, opulent vision to life in this, his Spring/Summer 2015 show. He described his clothes and his woman in the language of mysterious, decadent fairytale; “The woman is a very special woman, she’s a mermaid, she’s a woman of the sea. She’s a siren who swims in a tropical ocean that’s glittering in the moonlight and full of tropical fish,” he says, spinning his tale as though he himself is some sort of stylish siren. “She’s surrounded by buried treasure and glamorous things.”
This treasure appears sewn into two, beautiful wedding dresses, which are surely the triumph of this decadent collection. ‘This time we had two wedding dresses in the show,’ Macdonald explained. ‘The first one was very short, the second one was very long. Obviously they were covered in diamonds, lots of glitter and lots of glamour.” Indeed, there is a lot of glitter, and a lot of glamour; the second wedding dress, embroidered with diamonds and freshwater pearls, cost £3 million to make.
So this is a mermaid with expensive taste; but the tattoo-like prints which decorate the designs are inspired by her groom. MacDonald continues his fairytale, explaining “She falls in love and lures a tattooed gorgeous man into the sea and its all about an underwater love of a mermaid surrounded by tattooed men, hence the flowers, the prints and the inspiration.”
Floral-appliquéd pencil dresses are daringly slashed to the navel with transparent, tulle inserts and cobweb-knit panels, reflecting tattoo imagery commonly associated with sailors in the most beautiful, feminine way possible.
Meanwhile, ruffle swimsuits and babydoll dresses feel light and ethereal, like trails of fabric floating in the ocean around the models’ bodies. The skirts of the longer gowns, meanwhile, swirl around the legs, shimmering and glistening like sunlight on water.
This is an incredible set of designs, made so by the strong story that Macdonald evidently had in his mind when he was creating them; these clothes truly are the stuff of fairytales.