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Spring/Summer 2011Ready-To-WearLondon

Sunday, 31 July 2011

PR people wearing headsets and spritzing Jo Malone high in the air, a smattering of celebs to get the paparazzi party started - Cat Deeley, Olivia Palermo, Alan Carr - unusually - and a pregnant, leopard print-clad Rachel Stevens who hopped in just before the show began - opera streaming from the speakers, pink Martinis and the classical surrounds of Banqueting House on Whitehall: the new, grown-up Julien Macdonald is all about atmosphere.

Cut to the first look and his woman is just as body-perfect as ever, but he treats her more gently these days - wrapping her in feather-light chiffon frills hemmed with antique lace and cut with panels of his signature webbing.

Two big New York trends made a strong appearance here - cream as the summer's strongest tone, and multiple layers of light fabric, though to be fair any woman in Macdonald may well need a few layers to ensure coverage of all particulars next season.

Striped mattress ticking fabric made for sterner stuff - trench-style jackets and little tailored shorts with zipped pockets had nice heavy metal work fastening the straps that adorned them - and summer jackets of wide appliqué are for Macdonald fans for whom a wisp of chiffon or two does not an outfit make.

True romance took over when billowing dresses featured faded floral prints of orange and yellow, pink and blue, indigo and grey in a newly pretty move that had editorial potential all over it.

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