MACDONALD’S MEN’S WEAR LINE: London designer Julien Macdonald — known for his high-octane women’s wear — is making his first foray into men’s wear. When the designer shows his spring women’s collection during London Fashion Week later this month, he will include a handful of men’s looks on the runway, too.
Macdonald said while he had “always been interested” in designing a men’s wear collection, “I’ve never really found the right time to do it.” However, he said he’d been hit with inspiration when designing his current women’s collection.
The men’s looks revolve around knitwear – a Macdonald signature – and prints. Designs include layered, weblike knit sweaters and pants, and printed T-shirts. Among his inspirations were a recent trip to Bali, and the region’s architecture and traveling culture, and the designer has worked with fabrics such as techno gabardine, Neoprene, cotton and silk knits and what Macdonald called “exciting print techniques.”
Macdonald is resolute about who he wants the collection to appeal to. “It isn’t [a] gentleman,” he said. “I’ve taken inspiration from my own clothes and things I’ve seen guys in London wearing, especially in the East End, the Shoreditch area of London where the most fashionable kids hang out. It’s almost like a unisex of kind of fashion, really. So I think it’s interesting but it’s not a tailored gentleman. If you want a suit, don’t come to me.”
In comparison to designing for women, Macdonald finds creating looks for men a fresh challenge. “I am a man and I’m constantly aware that I don’t want [the collection] to be too feminine or too crazy,” he said. “There is a certain sense of wearability, and that is the challenge. Would my friends wear it? Would those guys wear it? And I want the guys to wear it and look cool and feel strong and masculine.”
As to his ideal celebrity customer, Macdonald mused that he’d like to see men such as Chris Brown, Kanye West, Jay Z and Justin Timberlake wear the collection. “It’s for fashionable men, for men who love fashion and love to buy into designer brands, and to buy something that other people won’t have,” he said.
The price range and stockists for the first collection are still to be confirmed, Macdonald said.
Macdonald’s show will take place on Sept. 19 at the Smithfield Market in East London at 11 a.m.