Julien Macdonald; the King of Knitwear on Glamour, Growing Up and His New 'Health Guru' Elle Macpherson; in a Taxi With
Byline: Interview BELLA BLISSETT
J ulien Macdonald has just taken a call from Cheryl Cole. The nation's sweetheart wants to borrow half his new collection for the current series of The X Factor and for the cover of her album. Tomorrow it could be clients Catherine Zeta Jones or Liv Tyler making similar requests.
Such is life for the resident judge on one of our favourite guilty pleasures, Living TV's Britain's Next Top Model (BNTM). One of our best-loved fashion designers, Julien lives, breathes and dreams glamour.
'The woman I design for is the star of the party. She's Samantha from Sex and the City meets Kylie!' he trills in a melodic Welsh accent.
Today, when I collect him from his Mayfair studio, the 38-year-old looks tanned, fit and healthy - not something you could say of many designers if they'd just been through a London Fashion Week show and a live BNTM finale with co-star Elle Macpherson. Sporting his current fashion fad, 'double denim', he's wearing matching indigo jeans and shirt, battered brown boots and a vintage leather jacket, which he picked up in Portobello Market near his home in London's Notting Hill.
'If I look good at the moment it's all thanks to Elle - she's my new health guru. I'm neurotic about what goes in my mouth; if I eat too much I put on a lot of weight,' he says. 'My new thing is exercise, drinking loads of water and snacking on almonds, like Elle does,' he says.
Each morning he gets up early to run around Hyde Park with his dogs, Bobby the miniature schnauzer and Jake the miniature doberman. 'I get most of my ideas when I'm exercising and have a clear line of thought.' Perhaps it was while out running that he dreamt up many of his 'brand Julien' products - from British Airways uniforms in 2004 and a jewellery collection for high-street store H Samuel in 2007 to a set of hair dryers and straighteners for Comet this year. This is in addition to his diffusion line for Debenhams, where a piece of his glamorous aesthetic costs around [pounds sterling]75 - a far cry from the [pounds sterling]2,000 price tags on the main collection.
At his show, which took place at Banqueting House on Whitehall, Julien's two worlds collided as US TV star Janice Dickinson, Cat Deeley and New York fashionista Olivia Palermo sat on the front row alongside his friends from Merthyr Tydfil. …