WELSH fashion guru Julien Macdonald may dress some of the most famous women in the world but is most proud of his high-street range.
The former Strictly Come Dancing star, who has just been tasked with creating a £1.5 million dress, said he was thrilled with the success of his line in Debenhams.
Pop superstars Beyonce, Kylie and Shakira may count among his clients but Julien, 42, said, at the Hay Festival, he was determined to win mass appeal for his clothes.
Julien said: “I have dressed the richest people of this world and I wanted to dress people like my mother and sisters who couldn’t afford to buy those clothes.
“I decided to enter into a relationship with Debenhams.
“I wanted to bring my clothes to mass market fashion, I am not a snob about it.
“I am so happy to see my mother wearing my shoes and my clothes, my sisters wearing them and people up the valley (where I am from) are wearing them.”
Julien said if he could have dressed anyone it would have been the screen legend Marilyn Monroe.
“I would have loved to have dressed Marilyn Monroe, she’s dangerous, she had an affair with the president,” he added.
“I love real women and ballsy women, like Sharon Stone in Basic Instinct.
“It does not matter about size, I dress women in all shapes and sizes.
“I like confident and empowering women.”
The rags-to-riches designer said he had recently seen a surge in demand for luxury items.
“We have seen a return to the luxury market in fashion,” he said.
“There is a small section in the world who have incredible wealth.”
During the hour-long session, the Merthyr Tydfil-born knitwear designer, who has worked for Chanel, Lagerfeld and Givenchy, revealed his determination to make something of his talent.
He said: “I think I was 15 and my father said to me, ‘when you finish school next year I’ve got you a job at the washing machine factory.’
“There was absolutely no way I was doing that.
“There was one road out and that was education.
“I knew there was more to life than being stuck in a Valley town and stuck in a factory.
“For people who want to do that, that’s great but I knew I didn’t want to do it.”