At Matthew Williamson’s fall 2015 show yesterday, the sumptuous salon-like air of the Criterion Restaurant was a welcome antidote to the chaos of London’s Piccadilly on the street outside. And as anyone whose eyes were drawn upwards to the shimmering mosaic ceiling would affirm it was also, as it turned out, perfectly aligned with the veteran designer’s starry starting point for the show. “My inspiration was the zodiac signs,” explained Williamson between hugs backstage. “I’m now fully versed in birthstones!” It was a theme that he translated with subtlety, at times almost subliminally, into a jewel-tone collection that spanned amethyst to aquamarine, and that crucially did nothing to alienate his core customer.
Injecting a dull day with a high-octane dose of Vitamin D, Williamson struck on his subject and was on a celestial roll: The twelve astrological signs gave rise to minuscule Libran scales and Cancerian crab motifs that crept from diaphanous skirts onto silk charmeuse skater dresses, in the form of gold embroidery and gem-encrusted collars. The theme was reflected again in the form of frothy galaxy-print blouses and skirts (separates were a noteworthy presence from this champion of the simple one-piece) and less obviously on slim-line leopard-print jumpsuits.
Beyond the stargazing the designer dialed back through more familiar hippyish annals; long and voluminous dresses were patterned in a fabric that recalled William Morris block prints. Williamson’s own favorite of these, which closed the show, was a bohemian print in black on white the closest to a monochrome palette that this kaleidoscopic designer is likely to veer.
In a world of minimalism and austerity, Williamson’s métier is always going to be fun and that came through today in oversize sunglasses with gold leaf–clad lenses, as well as the custom-dyed, ombré-effect fur detailing, which appeared on coats and collars of vivid hue. “I love a hint of fur,” said the designer. “It adds to the luxury bohemian essence of the brand.” But as the models scaled the marble steps onto the plush carpet runway, one couldn’t help feeling that these are pieces still best worn barefoot on the beaches of the Balearics.
Selections by ANDREA JANKE Finest Accessories
Photo Credit/Source: Matthew Williamson
Photos: Yannis Vlamos / Indigitalimages
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