Julien Macdonald is a man synonymous with sparkle. The fashion designer — and former Strictly Come Dancing star — reveals his next venture which is available in Bury.

THINK Julien Macdonald, think glitz, glamour and showbusiness names.

The Welsh-born designer has built up a legion of famous fans who love to dazzle on the red carpet in his dramatic dresses.

Elle Macpherson sends him a Hermes beach towel every year for his birthday and Kylie Minogue is often spotted in one of his heavily embellished numbers.

But away from the world of celebrity, Julien has carved out a successful career in fashion, having been hand-picked by Karl Lagerfeld to design knitwear for Chanel after graduating and moving to the chief design role at Givenchy in 2001, before establishing his own label and multiple high street lines.

He notes the highlight of his career as “receiving my OBE for services to the fashion industry from the Queen. But, to be honest, also just the fact that I’m still doing this after 20 years.”

He has recently branched out into eyewear and has adapted his opulent design signature for a range of glasses with Vision Express, available at the branch in Central Street, The Rock, Bury.

"This project has been a long process. All in all, a little over a year, which is probably because it’s all very technical and such a different world for me.

"There was the challenge of taking my design aesthetic — the glamour, the snakeskin, the baroqueness and putting it onto a practical item that people have to wear every day.

"If you look at most optical ranges, they’re quite dull and boring, but people buy them as investment pieces and they keep them for a long time.

"So I decided that I wanted to do what I had to do to make them more fashionable. My glasses basically channel my love of crystals and sparkles,” he says with a beaming smile.

The flamboyant designer claims to be inspired by the late, great Gianni Versace, and is certainly following the legendary Italian’s lead in bringing glamour to every woman, every day.

“The women who wear my clothes aren’t shy!” he laughs. “But ultimately, they are for everyone.”

When it comes to the current stars of the fashion world, he says: “I don’t think you get much better than Naomi (Campbell).

“Obviously Cara Delevingne is an incredible English supermodel and one of my favourites is Natasha Poly who is amazing,” he continues. “I’ve met and dressed Kim Kardashian and Beyoncé is a big client of mine.

"I’ve dressed so many great women over the years.

"I’ve been dressing Mel B a lot recently and I’m really good friends with her so that’s great.

"I’ve never dressed Lady Gaga but to be honest I'm not quite sure what I’d put her in! It would still definitely be worth a shot, though.”

The designer frequently harks back to the golden era of the supermodel for inspiration.

“Naomi, Christina, Helena and Kate; I always remember those fabulous, glamorous women.

"They were curvy, sexy real women. We haven’t had that for a long time (in models) and I always loved them, as they’re my kind of women.

“Women are not shoving on T-shirts to cover up their body like they used to, because now it’s become more fashionable to show different parts of your body.

"Women should be happy and having fun with that and it doesn’t matter how old you are or what size you are. You should just get it out!”

It is a bold statement, but one delivered with sincerity as Julien is well-known for creating gowns that both flatter and decorate women’s bodies in the most high-impact, high-octane way.

Having forged his fashionable life from unassuming beginnings in a small town in Wales, he is an inspiration to many aspiring designers.

When asked for advice for fledgling fashionistas, he said: “First of all, I would tell them to never give up; it doesn’t alway s work straight away and it can take a long time to become a fashion designer.

"Just follow your dreams and really work hard and if you want to get into the fashion industry, try to do as many work placements with as many different designers as possible.”

Julien Macdonald eyewear is in Vision Express stores nationwide now, priced from £169 to £189. Visit visionexpress.com/julienmacdonald