Smithfield Market played host to a fiercely ornate and super-sexy collection by Julien Macdonald.
Playing to Form
Understated elegance has never been Julien Macdonald’s calling card, and why should it be? This time he served up unashamedly sexy designs cut close to the body with no shortage of back-exposing cut-outs and plunging necklines that revealed glistening, oiled-up chests. Some pieces even resembled a severely laddered pair of tights, using the white skin beneath their black threads to form a grungy mosaic of flesh and fabric.
It wasn’t just the cuts that were brazen; the ornamentation and astoundingly detailed embroidery on the dresses created shimmering, metallic forms that were the perfect match for the model’s shining, wet-look hair. In fact, combined with heavily shadowed, almost smudged eyes, the plastered down hair gave a few longer dresses (decorous and flowing but somehow also raggedy) a Corpse Bride quality: perversely eroticising dead-forms in that way familiar from Gothic literature.
Macdonald’s menswear debut had more than the touch of Givenchy about it – baroque-style patterns cut into dress-length t shirts with shorts underneath and a raft of exposed torsos. The gladiator sandals they were paired with reinforced the idea that this was a kind of sexy, neo-ancient armour for those guys who relish adding a generous dash of camp to that archetypally masculine role, the fighter; guys who will wear the clothes rather than letting them wear him. Pieces that show this much and hide so little aren’t for the faint hearted. Chances are, you know where you stand on them already.
Photographer: Cleo Glover
Words: Benji Walters