Exclusive interview: Fashion and homewares designer Julien Macdonald shares a few of his favourite things with ACHICA Living
Hot on the heels of London Fashion Week 2012, world-famous British designer Julien Macdonald tells ACHICA Living about a few of his favourite things. In this exclusive, he talks design, homewares, holiday destination and how he loves to spend the weekend…
Julien Macdonald OBE studied Fashion Knitwear at The University of Brighton and received his MA at Royal College of Art, London. Soon after he was made Head Designer of Knitwear for Chanel and worked for iconic designer label Lagerfield. In 2001, Julien was named British Fashion Designer of the Year and appointed as successor to Alexander McQueen as Creative Director of the renowned French fashion house Givenchy. In 2006, he was awarded an Order of the British Empire for his services to the fashion industry. Over the years, Julien has built his own brand and his designs have been worn by the likes of Beyonce, Kylie, Gwyneth Paltrow and Cheryl Cole, and sold in prestigious boutiques worldwide.
‘My favourite design of all time…
The magnificent Chrysler building in Manhattan– I love the Art Deco architecture, the height, the shape and the colour.
My favourite personal design…
One of my all time favourite designs of mine is the smash glass embroidered, long-sleeved gown from my Autumn/Winter 2009 collection. It was worn by supermodel Heidi Klum to Elton John’s AIDS Foundation’s Oscar Viewing Party in 2011. Heidi looked absolutely divine in the gown – she is an amazing, modern woman who epitomises the Julien Macdonald Woman. The gown was super technical – dip-dyed to achieve the dramatic degrade effect with couture level details and embroidery. It is an exquisite and unique piece of work that I am very proud of.
[Above: The gown in question, sans Heidi Klum]
My favourite homeware…
I am very interested in interior decoration in general. My two absolute favourite interior designers have to be Kelly Hoppen for her clean, chic and modern glamour, and the American designer Kelly Wearstler for her sense of opulence, glamour and fun.
I like Venetian glass and antiques. I’ve always loved Venice – it is such a romantic and beautiful city. I particularly love antique Murano glasses for their vibrant colours and artisanal construction.
My favourite project I’ve worked on…
I have been working with Graham & Brown on a new collection of wallpapers, inspired by fashion, tropical florals, Moroccan inspired motifs and butterflies. I love working with Graham & Brown – I always loved textiles and decorative art, and designing something special for the home feels like a natural and very interesting progression from my fashion design.
My favourite way to get inspired…
Living in London, there are so many wonderful galleries and exhibitions to go to. I went to the David Hockney exhibition at the Royal Academy of Arts recently, which was fantastic. I like going to the Tate Modern and the Saatchi Gallery when I have the time too.
I love travelling as well. It is the best way to get inspired. Some of the most memorable destinations were Las Vegas (it was absolutely crazy!) and Morocco where textiles are absolutely incredible.
[Above: Moroccan textiles]
My favourite way to spend the weekend…
Waking up early and going to the vintage market on Portobello Road – I love looking for vintage finds and antique fabrics. Then I would go to my favourite restaurant for lunch, E&O – it has the most delicious Thai fusion food. At night, I like watching a great film or going to theatre. When I was a young boy, I wanted to be a performer so I love going to the Royal Opera House or going to see the latest production from the English National Ballet. The last one I went to see was Strictly Gershwin, which was great fun.
[Above: English National Ballet. Image: Londonist]
My favourite holiday destination…
I like to completely relax and take in the beautiful scenery when I’m on holiday. My work is very demanding so it’s very important for me to rest and recharge and get inspired for my next collection. Some of my favourite destinations are: Miami for all around sun, St Petersburg and the Hermitage for cultural experience, and Capri for its sheer beauty and the blue grotto.
My favourite food and tipple…
I love spicy food! I love travelling to India and tasting all the wonderful and exotic spices they have there. When it comes to drinks, I like a dirty martini or an apple martini, but I enjoy any good bottle of red wine. My favourite is Rioja.’
[Above: Apple Martini. Image: Manolo Brides]
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