What was the initial inspiration for the new Autumn Winter Collection?
MW: This season I wanted to continue the two key themes of shape and texture from my Pre Fall 09 collection. The silhouette is fairly extreme, with the oversized outerwear and knitwear balancing out with nipped tulip skirted dresses and long lean trouser shapes. The waistline in particular is defined by strong tailored lines, wide heavily beaded belts or simply by the considered placement of the prints. The ‘power’ shoulder has also returned for Winter, particularly in seen in the zig zag wool weave, where the chevron curved seams emphasis the strong lines.
Again, with the theme of texture, I have played on extremes to create an eclectic yet luxurious look. Much of the outerwear has a deeply tactile nature, with natural furs, heavy tweed and mohair giving a glamourous volume. This is balanced and complimented by the high shine metallic brocades, silk shirts and fluid like all over sequin dresses at the close of the show.
You are known for your love of colour, can you describe your choice of palette this season?
MW: Much of the collection is made of high quality natural wools, furs and cottons and I wanted to echo this ‘organic’ sentiment with the colours I choose. Winter creams, ash, and pebble are all present along with the deeper hues of bitter chocolate, Bordeaux reds and rich purples. In a way this is a much more defined colour palette than I am use to designing with, but the shots of watermelon and kingfisher blue brightens the collection and brings the signature Matthew Williamson in!
Prints, Beads and Colour are synonymous with your label. Will you preserve this direction?
MW: My design philosophy is similar today as when I started in 1997 and that’s really about me creating collections for women to wear that are very uplifting and celebratory and give the wearer a sense of escapism. I like clothes that are full of texture, pattern and colour. The prevailing trends when I began were for dull, minimalist, utilitarian clothing. I believe what made my label and designs stand out was this colourfulness and striking contrast to that current trend. I have always kept true to this design aesthetic as I believe it is important to have integrity as a designer for people to understand your brand.
What will you most look forward to about your return to London Fashion Week this September?
MW: London Fashion Week asked if we would return to London this season for their 25th anniversary celebrations. We were very happy to do so alongside such international power labels such as Burberry and are excited about all the celebrations that will be taking place around fashion week. The move to the more central venue of Somerset House is also fantastic news, an elegant setting in which to show the collections. I am most looking forward to having my family and friends being able to attend the show to support me.
How has the recession influenced your natural style?
MW: As a brand, we are fortunate to have a loyal and growing customer base. I have always remained true to my fundamental aesthetic principals; each season showing an unabashed love of colour and print. The extrovert quality in my designs could be seen as overly decadent in times such as these but I see it as a celebration and a reminder to people of the more joyful aspects of life.
Gabrielle Teare is the Leading London Personal Stylist and Personal Shopper based in the heart of Shopping in Chelsea, London. International Fashion Writer and Stylist Gabrielle has been style/editorial consultant for 2 Disney films in June 09. July 09 saw Gabrielle featured Internationally in Elle, Marie Claire, and other European, US, Far Eastern and South American magazines and fashion sites. London Fashion Weeks “Dress The Band” competition shown on Fashion TV in Feb 09, was styled by Gabrielle. http://www.gabrielleteare.com