LONDON - The setting was the historic Banqueting House in the heart of ceremonial London, but the mood was a racy midsummer's night fantasy Sunday as designer Julien Macdonald unveiled his spring and summer collection for next year.
Many of the outfits seemed to intentionally blur the line between evening wear and boudoir wear as Macdonald used sheer fabrics, cutaways and extreme minidresses to give his models an ethereal sensuality.
Women in black dresses paraded down the catwalk moments before the show started, arms aloft as they sprayed the air with perfume to help set the proper ambiance for the clothes.
With George Gershwin's classic “Summertime” playing in the background, guests sipped on lemon-accented peach juice mixed with jasmine tea served in martini glasses and topped with a fresh flower petal.
No one seemed to know whether to eat the petal, admire it, or drop it discretely on the floor.
The first few models wore frilly, lacy outfits in cream and off white colours, with their hair pulled back. One outfit came with a full-length cape attached. Next came a few bursts of colour, including a yellow dress that resembled a baby doll nightgown. Others came in dark blue ensembles.
Macdonald's daring display came on Day Three of London Fashion Week, which has so far been an upbeat affair marked by splashes of colour and originality. He seemed to please the crowd: There was raucous applause before and after the show, with supermodel Elle Macpherson zipping backstage afterward to congratulate the designer.
Some of the biggest shows - Vivienne Westwood, Burberry Prorsum, and others, are still to come.
Monday will also see a sombre turn when a memorial service is held to remember the late Alexander McQueen, the British fashion icon who took his own life earlier this year.