Matthew Williamson is one of the stalwarts of London Fashion Week, having been showing since 1997, and famous for his sparkly star motifs, feathers and bold prints and dazzling holiday palette of hot pink and turquoise, as well as his celebrity following, like Jade Jagger, Sienna Miller and others. He recently took time to take stock of his best career highlights and show them off in a mini show sponsored by Häagen-Dazs in London. Little old Grazia Daily was so curious that we begged and begged and begged for an interview and so he agreed!
You recently revealed some of your most iconic dresses at the Häagen-Dazs Boudoir in London, including those worn by the likes of Kate Moss, Olivia Palermo and Sienna Miller. Did you find it difficult to select just a handful of your favourite pieces to display?
It was a really fun process, I tried to pick the dresses that had stories behind them and evoked fond memories for me. For example, the magenta and turquoise shift dress Kate Moss wore in my first show Electric Angels in 1997 marked the start of my career. The next day the images were front page of several national papers, it was a very surreal and exciting time. The peacock print dress Sienna wore when we went shopping together in 2003 became an instant hit once she had been photographed in it. It was at the time of ‘boho’ and she wore it casually dressed down with a pair of vintage cowboy boots. Since then the peacock print has become synonymous with my brand, I’m always inspired by nature and I love the graphic effect of the feather highlighted in synthetic colours. It’s a print we still repeat today and the feather has become a brand motif.
As a designer, you’ve spoken a few times on the record about the fact you might have one person in mind as your ‘muse’ when designing (for example Sienna Miller). What does a muse do, and can anyone be one?
A muse is a source of inspiration. Although various girls have been called my ‘muses’ over the years I actually don’t design with a particular type of girl in mind, it’s clear from spending time at my stores that there isn’t a specific type of person that buys my clothes and I love that they appeal to a wide range of customers. Although I recognise the importance of celebrity, I’m lucky enough that the high profile girls that I’m often associated with are actually close friends of mine who genuinely love wearing my clothes.
Do you play music in your studio while designing? If so, what is on your stereo at the moment?
Absolutely, at the moment I’m loving listening to Best Coast.
Can you give us any cheeky tip-offs about what we can expect at your show at London Fashion Week this season?
I’m looking forward to the Spring Summer ’12 show, I’m continuing the Japanese influence from the pre-collection, so expect lots of clean, fluid silhouettes and a bold, juicy colour palette.
Tell us about your new diffusion line, MW?
The first collection from MW has just hit stores now, it’s the younger sister of the mainline, with all the signature style of my ready-to-wear, lots of colour, print and embellishment, but with more of an urban edge and at lower price points.
We caught up with Mr Williamson at the luxurious Häagen-Dazs Boudoir last week. The Boudoir is open to the public (aged 18 and over) for one day only this Sunday 31st July so don’t miss out! For more info visit facebook.com/haagen-dazs
- Naomi Attwood