A blast of Elnett and a roar of pap pop as loud as the clothes on show. That's what we expect from Julien Macdonald- the Welsh Versace (or, latterly, Bob Mackie) who sees no reason why you can't dress for Las Vegas when you live in Llangollen.
Imagine our surprise (read: disappointment) when under those backcombed, bombe glacée barnets, Macdonald sent out a surprisingly safe and sedate collection for S/S 2011. A more concise way to put it is beige. Lots of beige. A rainbow of beige if you will, from tawny flesh to slightly over-stewed P.G. Tips tan, through trench-detailed daywear and tulle evening attire teamed with lots of white lace and a few pepped-up pastels. It was an odd mix, and to be honest Macdonald's unapologetic, energetic vulgarity was sorely missed. That's not to say these clothes were a wholly tasteful parade - far from it. That nude chiffon was pleated, ruched and tonsured within an inch of its life, strapped and wrapped around the body and then sliced off somewhere between the hips and crotch (exposing plenty of both for good measure). Imagine a batch of Valentino samples accidentally delivered to a Playboy shoot, and you'll get the look Macdonald seemed to be going for.
When Macdonald stuck closer to the Sheik of Chic than Hugh Hefner, the results were best - stand-out was a filmy nude organza sheath-dress, scattered with embroidery and whorled with pleats. But this was the exception to the rule, which seemed to be for winsome babydoll after babydoll bearing more relation to late Seventies lingerie than anything a woman would want to wear out of the house, let alone the old before or after dark question. In fact, scratch that. Indoors or outdoors, I'm not sure who in their right mind would want to put any of Macdonald's latest on their back.