Matthew Williamson, in full dress
I had the opportunity to preview the new Matthew Williamson AW09 collection recently… yet I do not wear prints. Almost never. Here you see the antithesis.
Well, maybe it’s a little exaggerated since I accepted liberty, stripes, some flower prints, and dots as part of my closet, maybe even a tiny touch of leopard – is that cheating? However, as much as I can admire and assess the originality and design technique of graphic, ethnic, futuristic and conceptual prints, I just cannot see myself wearing them. And yes, this includes Balenciaga, Missoni, Pucci, and many more.
However, several things must be noted about Matthew Williamson AW09 collection – which you can see surprisingly well here on their new website.
1. Even if just like me, you do not favour print, the mohair coats, sequined dresses and utterly covetable blue fur from the new collection are irresistible. How long is the question. The work on textures and quality of fabrics, which is what I value most, made me discover another facet of the designs from the Manchester-born, CSM-graduate. Did I talk about the accessories? Go and see for yourself the sky-high à la Louboutin heels, with acid bright pink soles, and intricately beaded necklaces bang on the safari trend.
2. Even though most pieces are still too bright or printed for my taste, I cannot help but admire the craftsmanship skills. This is why the pictures I chose to illustrate are no outfit, but details. Richly embellished fabrics and materials are tastefully mixed – from fur to beads, sequins, pearls, tassels, metal pieces, gems and zips. I first really discovered the British designer at an exhibition about his work at Manchester’s Urbis Gallery, and I vividly remember a whole wall covered of inspiration fabrics and pictures, just like a giant sketchbook, as well as some seriously red-carpet glitter dress. His H&M collaboration may have recently popularised his distinctive style, but I will always think of his work as this exhibition introduced me to it.
Matthew Williamson just brings summer to life, which is much needed for a winter in London. The genius of prints, who previously worked for Marni and Pucci, brings a new aspect to the luxe-club trend worked and overworked with sparkly minidresses from Gucci to Balmain: he brings colour. And that touch of pink? Embodied happiness.
Some clothes just need to be touched, seen and tried on because the touch and emotion while looking at Style.com, or even at anything on a magazine or computer screen, are inexorably limited.
Pictures by Alize Morand. Matthew Williamson AW09 Collection.