Julien MacDonald London Does Paris...and New York
By Lauren David Peden
February 15, 2006 @ 12:37 AM - London
The fur was flying last night at Julien MacDonald both literally (when animal rights activists showed up outside London's Freemasons Hall to protest) and figuratively (in the form of many, many, many fur jackets, chubbies, coats and shrugs).
The already buzzed-about event generated even more sizzle when a rumor began circulating around the room minutes before kickoff that Paris Hilton herself was going to open the show.
Indeed, once the lights dimmed and the sound of thunder and lightening subsided from the speakers, out came America's Favorite Sweet Tart in all her skanky glory, causing the celebrity-deprived crowd to roar its approval. Only why was she wearing what appeared to be a silver strapless bridesmaid-cum-prom dress?
And why were the rest of the models - which included Erin O'Connor and Lizzie Jagger - attired in what felt like a pastiche of Michael Kors, Baby Phat and Sweetface? (Read: Kors-style tweed trousers and pencil skirts worn with oversized shades and huge statement furs, blinged-out everything, a la Kimora Lee Simmons, and white fur coats paired with floppy fedoras, as seen at J. Lo's September Sweetface debut.)
It's not that the clothes weren't cool, covetable or flattering - most them were - and all of the furs were to-die-for. It's just that the overall collection - including the colorful Oscar- or Bafta-worthy red carpet gowns - felt less than original and left us with an unwelcome sense of fashion deja vu. Even the gold confetti that exploded at the end of the show felt reminiscent of Marc Jacobs' Spring 2006 show, when the audience at New York's Armory was showered with the glittery stuff.
And then there was Paris, who made a second appearance in a gold-and-silver beaded dress that shed all over the runway as she walked, prompting two black-clad stagehands to get down on their hands and knees to clean up after her (hey, isn't that what publicists are for?). Miz Hilton also closed the show to another huge round of applause, wearing a white bias cut fishtail wedding dress that begged the question, err, white? Isn't that for, you know...virgins?
The hotel heiress may be old news in America, but apparently MacDonald is hoping to foster ongoing London-Paris relations. Now if the designer would only concentrate on making fashion that doesn't feel derivative of everyone else out there, the applause might be in response to the clothing rather than a celebrity publicity stunt.