Wednesday, 18 February 2009

Roving Reporter: Matthew Williamson

Economic downturn; job cuts; rising food and fuel prices, do any of these ring a bell? Basically, the world is going into a serious meltdown. Not if you’re Matthew Williamson of course. I wouldn’t mind being his word right now, full of colour, vibrancy and optimism.

Williamson’s show made me breath as sigh of fresh air when I saw Magdalena Frackowiak stride down the runway in a feminine two tone brown and orange dress and bright oversized coat.  We can always rely on Williamson to stick to his guns and bring us bright colour, femininity and embellishment regardless of what’s going on in the world and what other designers are doing. "You have to believe in your vision," he said backstage.

Yes our winters are getting colder and we are going through the worst economic slump in half a century but that doesn’t mean it needs to be so evident in our clothes. Since the great depression, fashion has been used as an escape to juxtapose the sinister backdrop of what is going on in the world.

A lot of the other shows this season have stuck to the conventions that we expect from fall. I’m talking, dark colour palettes, thick cream knits and large black winter coats. What was so refreshing about Williamson’s show is that he went against the grain. The wide leg trouser that we have seen over the last few days was none existent. Hemlines on skirts and dresses were high but were beautiful styled and layered under thick coats with fur around the wrists or fur delicately wrapped around each models neck.

Fur lent itself to adding instant glamour and effortless sophistication to his designs. By experimenting with the colour of the fur, Williamson was able to instantly make the look more elegant with the classic brown fur, or edgy with the deep red and blue.

The key to working Williamson’s look into your fall wardrobe is layering. Small feminine tops were teamed with last season’s wardrobe staple leather trousers with long cardigans and fur around the neck.

The styling was very strong this season.  Black, edgy leather trousers were juxtaposed with feminine bright cardigans creating an interesting dynamic between a hard and soft aesthetic.

Williamson is bang on trend with this two piece trouser suit. Last season saw the like of Sinha Stanic, Richard Nicholl and Stella McCartney focus on reinventing the classic suit and this season Williamson has created a much needed addition to this trend. The suit doesn’t need to be boring anymore with interesting prints like the one above.

A few years ago we were all talking about the latest ‘It bag’ but now the focus is all about who does the craziest shoe. Williamson showcased beautiful black and white printed ankle boots with pint soles that will definitely get you noticed come fall.

Knitwear was a strength of the show. Williamson could not help himself but add some embellishment to the knitwear. Black turtle neck dresses were adorned with a vertical panel of intricate embroidery that we have all come to love and expect from Williamson.

The vibrancy of the show was reflected in the front row. Fun loving celebutants like Joy Bryant, Santigold and Zoe Kravitz, who described the show as ‘amazing’, were further evidence of Williamson’s appeal to both the feminine girly girl and the more eccentric customer.



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