Cruising with Jane McDonald

(7:30 a.m. BST) -- Cunard's Queen Mary 2 embarks on its second annual Transatlantic Fashion Week voyage from Southampton today as the ship sets sail for New York.

The fashion-themed seven-night sailing is being headlined by British designer Julien Macdonald OBE who will showcase some of his illustrious creations and take part in a Q&A session onboard.

The line up will also feature fashion historian and author Colin McDowell MBE and fashion consultant Gail Sackloff, with shows, talks, illustration workshops and themed dinners set to take place onboard.

Julien Macdonald OBE commented: "Cunard’s Transatlantic Fashion Week is such an exciting concept that celebrates the world of fashion in an iconic and timeless venue, the Queen Mary 2. I’m looking forward to having a week on board and bringing some fun and glamour to Cunard’s guests."

Passengers will also get to take advantage of a pop-up store featuring luxury swimwear label Melissa Odabash and a brand-new Mulberry boutique that will see the British brand show its autumn/ winter 2017 collection.

Sadly, however, Iris Apfel will no longer appear at Transatlantic Fashion Week, though Cunard has confirmed that the 96-year-old fashion icon has created pre-recorded videos and will present 'virtually' onboard. Apfel's jewellery collection for the brand Bajalia will also feature on the sailing.  

Cunard's Vice President Angus Struthers said: "Although Transatlantic Fashion Week is only in its second year, it is already building quite a reputation as a must attend event attracting some of the world’s foremost fashion designers and commentators.

"Queen Mary 2, the most iconic and glamorous ocean liner in the world, provides the perfect backdrop for what promise to be some amazing shows, headlined by Julien Macdonald OBE."

--By Kerry Spencer, Editor, U.K.