Julien Macdonald Celebrates L.A.'s BritWeek With Fashion Show
"I’m giving a taste of London to L.A.," said the Welsh designer of showcasing his fall 2016 presentation on Thursday night.
Julien Macdonald brought fashion to Los Angeles on Thursday night.
"They’re glamorous, sexy clothes for strong and confident men and women," said Macdonald backstage before the show, held inside an event space known as Unici Casa in Culver City. The designer was getting ready to showcase his fall 2016 collection, which he had previously unveiled during London Fashion Week earlier this year. "I’m giving a taste of London to L.A. Hopefully, people will like it."
It wasn't the usual fashion crowd — they had already seen it. The show was open to the public, but for a price, which ranged from about $160 (a front row seat) to $43 (standing), a portion of which benefits Artists for Amnesty, a community of artists, led by Amnesty International, that fight for human rights around the world. The event came together courtesy of BritWeek, in partnership with Genlux magazine, to honor the Welsh designer.
For two weeks, BritWeek — a nonprofit that spotlights the creative relationship between the United Kingdom and United States — puts the focus on Los Angeles. "It’s British talent meets Californian opportunity, and L.A. itself is such a fertile ground for ideas," said its chairman, Bob Peirce. "It’s a conversation between the two places. That’s what we celebrate — Julien is fantastic. He’s exciting."
Macdonald’s designs have been worn by the likes of Beyonce, Katy Perry, Taylor Swift, Selena Gomez and Kim Kardashian, to name a few. "Not many people get to see the clothes up close like this," he said. "For the majority of people, they never get to see them at all. It’s more of a virtual thing they see on social media or on the red carpet."
Someone who knows a thing or two about a red carpet look is rising stylist Monica Rose, sitting discreetly in the front row.
"I’ve been a fan of Julien for quite some time," said Rose, whose clients include the Kardashian and Jenner clan, as well as the Hadids. "He really understands a woman’s body. I put Gigi in one of his jumpsuits — the silhouette was perfect. It almost looked like the print was tattooed on her body," she said of Gigi’s show-stopping look from a Sports Illustrated event back in February.
"Everybody here is going to be able to see the quality of his clothes in person and how amazing they are," Rose continued. "I’m happy for him."
Guests began taking their seats around 8 p.m., but the show didn’t start for another hour. They mingled, took photos — particularly selfies — while sipping cocktails to thumping electro beats. "Ohs" and "ahs" could be heard throughout the show, as the crowd showed praise for the collection, full of shiny, sequined body-hugging gowns and slashed, black dresses for the women and military-inspired looks with web-like knits for the men.
By 9:17 p.m. it was over, sort of. "Enjoy the open bar, we’re open until 1 a.m.," announced a voice over the speakers, after Macdonald’s final bow. Prince's "Kiss" began to play, kicking off the afterparty.