London Fashion Week: Strictly glamour on the catwalk

Rebecca Gonsalves reports from London Fashion Week, where Julien Macdonald, the master of glitz, splashed his dresses with sequins and J W Anderson wrapped his models in gauzy chiffon and embossed leather

Even for those with merely a passing interest in fashion, Julien Macdonald has long been a household name. Thanks to his lines for Debenhams, the Welsh designer has a currency that is set to soar with his appearance as a contestant on Strictly Come Dancing, newly back on the BBC’s Saturday evening schedule. No stranger to glitz, glamour and netting loaded with sequins, Macdonald’s chances of success at the samba or foxtrot are high.

Saturday nights are for dancing for Macdonald’s clientele, too – his cocktail frocks and floor-skimming gowns are loved by wealthy women who prioritise a good party above all else. Yesterday, in the opulent setting of Goldsmiths’ Hall, Macdonald showed a collection with all the hallmarks he has established since graduating from the Royal College of Art in 1996.

Cobweb knits were woven into a multitude of skin-tight silhouettes and encrusted with sequins and beads in shimmering metallic tones of gold and silver. Motifs included the clean lines of Art Deco jewels and Baroque curlicues. Illusion netting was overlaid with rhinestones to form a plunging neckline or backless detail. Much of the collection would not have looked out of place on the Strictly dance floor (although with a few alterations from the wardrobe mistress, as many models tripped along the mirrored catwalk), and co-competitors on the show Abbey Clancy and Vanessa Feltz were in the audience, as were many members of the show’s professional dance corps.

Celebrities and private-jetsetters are Macdonald’s women – and there was plenty on show to outfit them for a life of socialising on board super-yachts.

Front row: J W Anderson fans Alexa Chung and Pixie Geldof Front row: J W Anderson fans Alexa Chung and Pixie Geldof

If Macdonald represents a slither of glamour that is rather exotic for the London schedule, J W Anderson is by contrast subversive, not least in the work that his designs referenced. Experimentation with fabric was a key theme – leather and pleather was embossed in large-scale herringbone and waffle patterns, then wrapped and folded around the body into the tunics and wrap skirts that are something of a signature shape for Anderson.

Elasticated bands encircled the body, drawing in gauzy chiffon T-shirts layered over long skirts in a palette that was predominantly grey, black and brown. Sheer squares of fabric were spaghetti-strapped to the body, decorated with folded leather pieces and worn with flap-fronted skirts.

It is always interesting to see what Sister by Sibling, the knitwear label, proposes for spring/summer. This season it will be wrapping women in “Waspish Sunday best” and “upholding the fragile veneer of domestic glamour”. Transported to the Fifties, the twinsets and cardigans were teamed with pencil skirts and A-line dresses in lilac, lemon and pale pink. Skirt suits were black and white or beaded with red zig-zags, and the brand’s signature leopard print was blown up to a large scale and highlighted with neon.

The shows continue tomorrow; the expected highlights are the shows by Vivienne Westwood, Mary Katrantzou and Jonathan Saunders – and the London Fashion Week debut of Manolo Blahnik.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
ebookA wonderful selection of salads, starters and mains featuring venison, grouse and other game
Arts and Entertainment
AKB48 perform during one of their daily concerts at Tokyo’s Akihabara theatre
musicJapan's AKB48 are one of the world’s most-successful pop acts
News
Ian Thorpe has thanked his supporters after the athlete said in an interview that he is gay
people
News
The headstone of jazz great Miles Davis at Woodlawn Cemetery in New York
news
Arts and Entertainment
Brendan O'Carroll has brought out his female alter-ego Agnes Brown for Mrs Brown's Boys D'Movie
filmComedy holds its place at top of the UK box office
News
newsBear sweltering in zoo that reaches temperatures of 40 degrees
Arts and Entertainment
Professor Kathy Willis will showcase plants from the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew
radioPlants: From Roots to Riches has been two years in the making
Arts and Entertainment
TV The follow-up documentary that has got locals worried
Arts and Entertainment
Eminem's daughter Hailie has graduated from high school
music
Arts and Entertainment
Original Netflix series such as Orange Is The New Black are to benefit from a 'substantial' increase in investment
TVHoax announcement had caused outrage
Life and Style
Swimsuit, £245, by Agent Provocateur
fashion

Diving in at the deep end is no excuse for shirking the style stakes

News
One Direction star Harry Styles who says he has no plans to follow his pal Cara Delevingne down the catwalk.
peopleManagement confirms rumours singer is going it alone are false
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Dynamics CRM Developer (C#, .NET, Dynamics CRM 2011/2013)

    £40000 - £60000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: Dynamics CRM D...

    Web Developer (C#, ASP.NET, AJAX, JavaScript, MVC, HTML)

    £40000 - £45000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: Web Developer ...

    C# R&D .NET Developer-Algorithms, WCF, WPF, Agile, ASP.NET,MVC

    £50000 - £67000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: C# R&D .NE...

    C# Developer (Web, HTML5, CSS3, ASP.NET, JS, Visual Studios)

    £40000 - £50000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: C# Developer (...

    Day In a Page

    Super Mario crushes the Messi dream as Germany win the 2014 World Cup in Brazil

    Super Mario crushes the Messi dream

    Germany win the 2014 World Cup in Brazil
    Saharan remains may be evidence of the first race war, 13,000 years ago

    The first race war, 13,000 years ago?

    Saharan remains may be evidence of oldest large-scale armed conflict
    Scientists find early warning system for Alzheimer’s

    Scientists find early warning system for Alzheimer’s

    Researchers hope eye tests can spot ‘biomarkers’ of the disease
    Sex, controversy and schoolgirl schtick

    Meet Japan's AKB48

    Pop, sex and schoolgirl schtick make for controversial success
    Iraq crisis: How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over the north of the country

    How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over northern Iraq

    A speech by an ex-MI6 boss hints at a plan going back over a decade. In some areas, being Shia is akin to being a Jew in Nazi Germany, says Patrick Cockburn
    The evolution of Andy Serkis: First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

    The evolution of Andy Serkis

    First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
    You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial: Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried

    You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial...

    Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried
    Refugee children from Central America let down by Washington's high ideals

    Refugee children let down by Washington's high ideals

    Democrats and Republicans refuse to set aside their differences to cope with the influx of desperate Central Americas, says Rupert Cornwell
    Children's books are too white, says Laureate

    Children's books are too white, says Laureate

    Malorie Blackman appeals for a better ethnic mix of authors and characters and the illustrator Quentin Blake comes to the rescue
    Blackest is the new black: Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...

    Blackest is the new black

    Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...
    Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

    Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

    The US Ambassador to London holds 'jeans and beer' gigs at his official residence – it's all part of the job, he tells Chris Green
    Meet the Quantified Selfers: From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor

    Meet the 'Quantified Selfers'

    From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor
    Madani Younis: Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

    Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

    Madani Younis wants the neighbourhood to follow his work as closely as his audiences do
    Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

    Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

    When it comes to national stereotyping, the Irish – among others – know it can pay to play up to outsiders' expectations, says DJ Taylor