September 14, 2012 London
How times change—but not really. The inspiration for this current collection is "Sharon Stone," he declared, adding, "Who wouldn't want to be Sharon Stone?" While there were no Stone impersonators on offer, there was the same channeling of celebrity and razzle-dazzle that have become the designer's trademarks. The Stone that he had in mind was the one from Basic Instinct, evident particularly in a white body-con dress in techno gabardine with a thigh-high split. But in the collection's "luxury island hopping" mutation—think Catherine Tramell runs off to St. Bart's after dispatching everyone with that ice pick—perhaps it was Ginger Rothstein from Casino who was more evident.
Macdonald's collection is far more Vegas than L.A., particularly in the case of one scarlet, fringed knitted number interwoven with glinting gold chains. Macdonald is a master of knit, a skill he almost shrugs off at times, but these are indeed the standout pieces of the collection, complex in technique and single-color saturated, carried off with a certain casual aplomb. Nothing is really casual in Macdonald's world, though. A cascading dress in a dip-dyed ombré silk is the "ultimate cocktail dress" and is called Tequila Sunrise because, well, it literally looks like one. This is Julien Macdonald's view, take it or leave it, and it is as unapologetic and brazen as when Ginger tossed those casino chips up into the air. It might be quite lurid, but it was Sharon Stone's best part, after all.