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Julien Macdonald Unveils Atelier Looks

Bespoke designs were inspired by New York’s Chrysler building.

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LONDON — London-based designer Julien Macdonald has unveiled his first collection of bespoke designs, called the Atelier Collection. The designer first announced late last year that he planned to launch the high-end line.

“During my time at Givenchy, I had a big following for my dramatic and embellished gowns,” Macdonald said in a telephone interview, referring to the spell he spent as couturier at Givenchy in the early Aughts. “I think [my clients] really want dresses that are touched by the hand of the designer and made in a designer’s atelier.”


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Macdonald said the first collection is meant to be “a taste” of what he can create at his atelier on London’s Savile Row, and noted the designs can be tailored to a particular client’s needs. The fall collection is inspired by New York’s Chrysler Building and includes intricately woven and embellished dresses with a Twenties feel.

The designer has worked with materials such as tulle, velvet, handmade lace and fine knits, and adorned the designs with beading and Swarovski Elements. Many of the fabrics are sourced from the U.K.

“[The collection] is very much a combination of old techniques but designed for a modern woman,” said Macdonald. “That’s why it’s made to measure and not couture — it’s modern bespoke designs. It’s for an uptown girl, going out enjoying herself.”

Macdonald said prices would depend on the specific piece. But he said cost wasn’t the primary concern for a bespoke client. “This customer doesn’t ask the price — it’s about the exclusiveness of being the only person in the room wearing that dress,” said Macdonald.

Macdonald will continue to design a ready-to-wear collection alongside the Atelier line, and noted that he is currently working on his spring 2013 collection.

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