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Zandra Rhodes, fashion designer
"There's always lots of attitude and atmosphere at his shows"
 real 56k

Tuesday, 26 September, 2000, 13:40 GMT 14:40 UK
Diamond dress that never was
Julien Macdonald
Macdonald with clients Kate Moss and Scary Spice
A million pound dress by Welsh designer Julien MacDonald failed to materialise at his London show on Monday night.

Fashion pundits had said a gown encrusted with more than a thousand hand-cut diamonds would be the centepiece of the show.

And Mick Jagger and Jerry Hall's teenage daughter Elizabeth had been tipped to model the sparkling number as the finale of the Merthyr-born designer's show in London Fashion week.

Julien Macdonald
Macdonald's meteoric rise surprised his parents
Fashion editors had been told that the creation would be the most expensive and extravagant dress ever to be seen on a British catwalk.

On Tuesday sources close to the designer said he had been misquoted about the glittering frock.

A spokesperson added all Julien MacDonald's designs "looked like a million dollars."

But it appears there was a $1m dollar gold and diamond encrusted cuff on display attached to a black lace mini-dress.

The cuff was a detachable piece of jewellery.

Despite his star-studded lifestyle, the designer has never forgotten his roots which remain firmly in the south Wales valleys.

Julien last returned to his native Merthyr Tydfil in June for an exhibition at his former school, Cyfartha High.

Joely Richardson
Clients include actress Joely Richardson
And from his early days when she taught him to knit, his mother, Joan Macdonald, knew he was destined for something different.

The meteoric rise of the designer - who now dresses some of the world's most famous women - has taken both his parents by suprise.

"When we're sitting there and the models are coming down, I just can't believe that this show is Julien's," said Mrs Macdonald.

But friends at home in Merthyr have always been aware of Julien's unique talent.

"He was very innovative, very unconventional, very different," said Julien's former art teacher, Lorraine Buck.

"He always had lots and lots of different ideas."

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