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Fashion Merthyr style.

Byline: Cathryn Scott

Julien Macdonald and Jeff Banks bought a taste of the London fashion world to Merthyr Tydfil last Thursday for the annual Macmillan fashion show. WM was there to get all the backstage goss

WHEN Julien Macdonald unveiled his autumn/ winter 2007 collection at London Fashion Week, he divided the critics.

There were those who said it was chic and classic, that it paid homage to his early collections, with items such as crochet dresses revamped for another season.

But others said it was derivative and nothing we hadn't seen before and - given that Julien is known for his bright colours and lavish evening dresses - that it was too dark and depressing.

At the show in Merthyr though, Julien was keen to stick up for his work.

"It's good to have a change," he said before the show. "People write about you then. If you do the same thing nobody writes about it."

Julien said he was inspired by "witches and forests and darkness and chic and glamour".

"It's a very dark collection, it's a winter collection. It's as if they were going to a fancy dress party where every girl turns up as a witch and is transformed into a beautiful woman of the night."

The collection was unveiled in February with Naomi Campbell among the models but in Merthyr it was worn by 20 local girls handpicked by Julien after answering an advert in the local paper.

Despite being one of the world's most in-demand designers, Julien said it was important for him to show his fashions in his hometown.

"It's great to come home and show the people of Merthyr my work and to give them a chance to see what I do," he said.

"Unless you're a celebrity or in fashion you don't get the chance to see a Julien Macdonald fashion show.

"It's three months off the runway, nobody has seen it, it's not even been in the fashion magazines, it's a world exclusive."

He said he also wanted to support the work of Macmillan.

"Everybody has been affected by cancer in some form, whether it's family or friends."
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Publication:Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:May 15, 2007
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