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Junior meets fashion designer Julien Macdonald: INTERVIEW

We caught up with fashion designer Julien Macdonald to talk about the inspiration for his Star girlswear collection at Debenhams and whether there is ever such a thing as too much leopard print....

Posted: 27 February 2014
by Catherine Hudson

Fashion designer, Julien Macdonald
Star by Julien Macdonald for spring summer 2014
Star by Julien Macdonald for spring summer 2014
Star by Julien Macdonald for spring summer 2014
We loved this Star by Julien Macdonald baby grow from the AW13capsule baby wear collection

Junior: How would you describe your signature design style and how have you transferred that to your Star childrenswear collection?

Julien Macdonald: Well I’ve been called 'The Prince of Sequins', as I’m known for my signature glamour and head-turning couture gowns for women who want to be noticed. My Star by Julien Macdonald girlswear range for Debenhams is fabulous and fun. I’ve designed it for the girl who loves dressing up day-to-day or for a party. It is full of fashionable pieces including diamante encrusted jeans, fabulous graphic tees and special party dresses with playful leopard prints, all combined with gold and silver glitz for a bit of sparkle.

Why did you decide to create a girlswear collection?

I love designing my collections for Debenhams as they enable me to reach a wider audience: women who love fashion and want to make a fashion statement. I noticed these women weren’t defined by age but an attitude, those who want a certain look. All the most glamorous women I know, including my mum and sisters, loved fashion from an early age, they love the ritual of getting ready and putting a look together. So, I thought a girlswear collection was a natural step.

Do you think that it is possible to ever have too much animal print in your wardrobe?

The great thing about animal print is that it’s timeless and so versatile. The way that Elizabeth Taylor wore it, super glamorous, is very different to how Kate Moss wears it in an effortlessly cool rock and roll way – it’s a fashion classic. Even if you don’t feel confident to wear leopard print as a key piece it’s great for accessorising with shoes and bags: injecting a pop of old school glamour into any look. At the moment I have a fabulous peach animal print jumpsuit in my girlswear collection, the ice cream shade makes the look that little bit more delicate and fun.

What about sequins?

Sequins instantly inject glamour into a piece, so I love to incorporate them into more casual pieces such as denim and jersey giving the pieces more versatility. It results in even relaxed outfits looking put together and chic.

When you think of your childrenswear label, what words spring to mind?

Sassy, cool and showy. I’m designing for all those fashion princesses out there.

What were your inspirations for the childrenswear SS14 collection?

I like to think of the collection as these little girls’ first foray into fashion so a lot of the prints and graphics reference Paris, the most iconic fashion capital. I’ve also been sure to include lots of other classic fashion references such as monochrome, leopard print and the little quilted jacket.

What are your top three tips for dressing children this Spring Summer?

Summer is a great time for fashion. Holidays, parties, events… the season is full of opportunities to dress up and feel fabulous, so my top tips would be have fun, embrace colour and you’re never too young to discover style.

Do you have any set style rules when designing for children?

I’m a lot more practical designing for children than when designing my event dresses but I’m still creating pieces for little girls who want to embrace the glitz and glamour of fashion. So I’ll always include a bit of magic and sparkle.

What are your top three must have pieces from the SS14 collection?

I love the leopard print jumpsuit, the quilted white jacket – a fashion must, and these really cool graphic T-shirts featuring all things a little fashion princess will love: cupcakes, bling and the magic of Paris cityscapes.

Do you have a muse when you design your collections?

I think the woman I design for is always the same across my collections. From haute couture to the more accessible Debenhams line, she’s confident, sexy and wants to look incredible whatever the occasion whether it’s the red carpet or a night with the girls. Of course I love women such as Elle Macpherson and Heidi Klum as these are amazing, modern women who epitomise the Julien Macdonald woman.

How does it feel when you see a child in one of your designs?


Shop the Star by Julien Macdonald collection in store and online at Debenhams, now

Did you know... Debenhams was Highly Commended in the Junior Design Awards 2012 for girls' fashion

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