Julien (1972). British designer. Julien MacDonald was born in the town of Merthyr Tydfil but, as his first name suggests, he has French origins through his maternal grandmother. As a boy he studied fine art and did not consider a career in fashion until he discovered it when taking a course of textile design. Consequently, he enrolled at Brighton University and later at the Royal College of Art, where he obtained a Master’s degree in 1997. In the same year, he created his first collection of glamorous creations and elegant knitwear and became known in London with his own-name label at the age of only 28. He is called “the wizard of knitwear” for his designs that, inspired by a fairy-tale world, mix unusual materials (for example, silicone, crystals, ermine tails, sequins) in an ostentatious display. His first collection so impressed Lagerfeld that MacDonald was immediately invited to do an apprenticeship as a knitwear designer for Chanel. He has collaborated with McQueen, Berardi, and Koji Tatsuno. On 14 March 2001 he was appointed artistic director of Givenchy women’s collections (haute couture and prêt-à-porter accessories). In July of the same year he presented his first collection for Givenchy.
&Quad;2003, January. MacDonald designed the uniforms for British Airways air hostesses. He replaced skirts with trousers for the first time in 30 years though retained the airline’s traditional colors: red, silver, and blue. They were worn by 100 hostesses for a five month trial period and were definitively adopted in 2004. The hats, designed in collaboration with Stephen Jones, are in the style of the 1950s. For the stewards he designed pinstriped suits.
&Quad;2003, February. MacDonald presented a collection at London Fashion Week presented at a sparkling evening. He designed mini dresses encrusted with Swarovski crystals and sequins, and crocheted ponchoes showed alongside fitted biker outfits in soft leather, fox-fur and rabbit jackets, which provoked the fury of animal rights demonstrators.
&Quad;2003, March. On the Paris catwalks, for Givenchy Julien MacDonald mixed Parisian and London styles. He created a very black collection, full of leather and knitwear, often combined with furs. Small dresses in shiny jersey with gold or sequined hems, and which highlighted the silhouette, napa leather jackets with high knitted waists fitting closely around the hips, suits in jersey decorated with zips, high leather boots that fit like a glove, textiles and knitwear in black-and-white checks.
&Quad;2004, March. He designed his last Givenchy collection for Fall-Winter 2004/2005.