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Hilary Alexander, fashion editor Daily Telegraph
"Everyone was completely stunned; Julien's name had not even figured in the rumours"
 real 28k

Thursday, 15 March, 2001, 12:49 GMT
Macdonald enters house of Givenchy
Julien Mcdonald
Julien Mcdonald is the toast of Paris
Designer Julien Macdonald has been chosen to replace Alexander McQueen at French fashion house Givenchy.

Macdonald, famous for dressing the Spice Girls and Kylie Minogue has been appointed chief designer.

Welshman Macdonald picked up the Most Glamorous Designer of the Year award last month, placing him among the cream of top young names in fashion.

Joely Richardson
Fans include actress Joely Richardson
He beat off competition from the likes of Chloe's Stella McCartney to win the award.

Givenchy's owner, Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessey, announced the 28-year-old's appointment by sending e-mails to the fashion press in Paris for the autumn-winter collections.

Macdonald is due to take over from McQueen after the 32-year-old McQueen's final collection for Givenchy is shown in Paris on Friday.

He set a precedent at London Fashion Week by becoming the first designer to broadcast an internet catwalk show live.

His collection featured fantastic feather creations and rhinestone-encrusted jump-suits delighting the star-studded audience who included Kylie Minogue, Mick Jagger and comedienne Tracey Ulman.

Supermodel Helena Christiansen opened the spectacular show sweeping down the gold runway followed by celebrity models Jodie Kidd, Jacquetta Wheeler and face of the moment Elizabeth Jagger.

In a dazzling finale the spellbound audience were covered in a glamorous shower of gold as the show ended.

Kylie Minogue
Kylie Minogue is among Macdonald's client list
Givenchy is keen to harness not just the creative talents of Macdonald but his sense of occasion.

The designer - whose client list includes Spice Girls Mel B and Victoria Beckham, model Kate Moss, and actress Joely Richardson - claimed he was "the first of Britain's hottest designers to embrace new media into the fashion world in this way."

Macdonald said that he sets out to sell "sex on legs" and the skimpy dress he designed for dressing Kelly Brook for the Snatch film premiere last year seemed to testify to that.

But Macdonald's designs are not restricted to the rich and famous. He has also designed clothes for the Marks & Spencer Autograph collection.

Despite his jet-set lifestyle, Macdonald has never forgotten his roots which remain firmly in the south Wales valleys.

He returned to his native Merthyr Tydfil in June last year as special guest at an exhibition at his former school, Cyfartha High.

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See also:

24 Feb 01 | Newsmakers
Alexander McQueen: Fashion king
26 Sep 00 | Wales
Diamond dress that never was
23 Sep 99 | Wales
Mel G models for MacDonald
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