Following a four-year hiatus, Julien Macdonald was a surprise addition to the London Fashion Week schedule this season.
Holborn’s Freemasons Hall hosted the crème de la crème of beloved British TV stars — from Gemma Collins to Strictly’s Bruno Tonioli, Amanda Holden and an appearance from Ronan Keating too. Not-so-lucky Eastenders legend Patsy Palmer was spotted lurking in the third row.
The show began how it meant to go on: extravagantly. After a brief light show, the audience erupted into cheering before it’d even begun. Known for his ultra-glitzy, figure-hugging gowns, Macdonald is a certified celebrity favourite — Kylie Minogue once nicknamed him ‘Mr Sparkle’ and last night’s show proved exactly that. In a room filled with so much thick smoke and dark lighting it’s a good thing that every dress twinkled down the runway, modelled by the likes of Leomie Anderson and Winnie Harlow.
Twenty years ago, Macdonald was at the helm of French luxury brand Givenchy — which he took over in 2001 following the departure of Alexander McQueen — and before that, was picked by Karl Lagerfeld to work under him at Chanel. Last night’s show, presented to reality TV royalty and soundtracked by The White Lotus theme tune, was somewhat different to the couture of his past. And gladly so. With not one glum face in sight, it was an injection of light-hearted, camp joy that fashion so often thinks it’s too cool for.
The reality of reality TV is that even the coolest of crowds can’t resist it. Rihanna admitted last week that she uses her personal time to binge watch The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills; Margot Robbie’s obsession with Love Island is no secret and even Beyoncé once said she was a fan of Jersey Shore. If the @loveofhuns Instagram account staged their dream fashion show, this would’ve been it.
Julien Macdonald’s show catered to our guilty pleasures. It brought fun to an industry that takes itself far too seriously. Anyone who says otherwise should bring themselves down a notch.