Julien Macdonald’s London shows become more and more like two halves of a tabloid photo-opportunity party interrupted by a fashion parade. When Shirley Bassey took her seat for the 6 p.m. show, she probably didn’t think she’d have to wait nearly two hours to see what her fellow Welsh citizen has in mind for fall.

Before proceedings could begin, of course, the champagne-stoked audience watched Leah Wood deejay and attempted to attach names to the local soap-opera and TV celebs who packed the house. Pink and Christina Aguilera were the only two stars with any international standing, but to the British market insatiably eager for nonstop celebrity info, that scarcely mattered.

When the show finally started, the designer sent out what he believes in most fervently: tight, sexy, in-your-face clothes. He delivered jackets and combat pants that stuck to the body, often implanted with heavy-duty gold zippers. More to the point, he produced the kind of clothing that will allow the aforementioned tabloid fodder to appear in public as near to naked as possible.

Wisely, Macdonald brought his original distinguishing talent—knitwear—into play via some spider-webby catsuits and a tiny dress of crocheted stars calculated to show more of Liberty Ross than the world dreamed possible. If the scantily clad catch a chill, he has a solution: Saga Furs is a sponsor, and there were patchwork fur coats aplenty.

His Versace-esque evening gowns were a dismal pastiche of the maestro’s achievements. But when Macdonald knitted up his own ideas, the boy from Wales got a fleeting nod of approval from the fashion press—as they stampeded toward the after-party.