LFW: Julien MacDonald S/S 2017

JulienMacdonald S/S 17
JulienMacdonald Spring/Summer 2017. Photo credit: Guillame Roujas

Oh, the pretty, shiny people!

Julien MacDonald celebrated his birthday this morning with a runway presentation that was full of all the glitter and glamour of a London dance party. We’ll just assume that there was cake backstage. I just hope no one got petroleum jelly on the icing, because they certainly had it all over the models.

Seriously, models were so covered in the shiny stuff that the shimmer off their legs and other body parts competed with, and at times out-shown, the sequins that seemed to cover almost every available inch of fabric. I know everyone wants to look as hot as possible when they go out to the club, and this is definitely club wear, but given the heat-trapping properties of petroleum jelly one could easily pass out on the dance floor from being this shiny.

The clothes themselves were everything we expect from Julien: short and deep cut. There wasn’t much here that wasn’t making good use of double-sided tape, at least on the women’s wear. The men’s styles were so tight they might have required a bit of lubrication to just get them on. Those who are into the whole dance/rave/party scene are going to really love these clothes. Those of us who prefer not having to be surgically removed from their garments are more likely to shake their heads and go back to sleep.

Silhouettes were body-hugging, which is exactly what MacDonald’s shoppers want. In fact, most of them will tell you they want them the tighter and sexier, the better. The only place fabric wasn’t glued to the skin was at the shoulders. Shoulder pads were a key element for anything that might be considered a jacket and most the men’s shirts. On the women, the look worked. On the men, however, they were pointed and protruding. Perhaps that feel was intentional as it defined a specific set of lines.

Many of the women’s looks were crocheted, which not only helped them to look especially sexy, but is almost important in helping a person feel cool. These looks with any other fabric would have almost certainly been too warm and too restrictive to be practical. The crocheted yarn, even when covered with sequins, is still very flexible and gives the garments plenty of room to breathe.

There is almost a Western or Outback theme going on, especially in the first few looks. There is plenty of very long fringe on sleeves and the backs of shoulders. There’s even a cowboy hat or two tossed into the mix. Some of the men’s shirts have the swirling kind of embroidery we associate with Western wear, but those zip-up-the-back boots with 3-inch heels were made for dancing, not herding  cattle.

There were some challenges to the wardrobe. We saw a couple of models struggling to keep the shoes on their feet, which happens in fashion shows. Straps break unexpectedly and that’s what seemed to happen in both these cases. However, another poor model didn’t have it quite so lucky. The dress she was wearing had a back slit  that came right up to the base of her hips. This left the material at the front of the dress to wrap itself around her legs, essentially hog-tying her, making it impossible for the young woman to walk without keeping both hands on the dress. She tried, valiantly, and to her credit, she never actually fell. She sure came close more than a few times, though.

Julien has created another fun, sexy collection that is perfect for people young enough to be my children. All I ask is that you take it easy on the petroleum jelly. No one should out-sparkle the sequins.

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