Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Let's Focus on ... Matthew Williamson

Matthew Williamson is not a foreign name in the world's fashion scene as well as to most Malaysians who are familiar with Debenhams, the British department store that closed its door to the local shopper last August.

Why Debenhams? Well, if many of you didn't know, the designer designed an affordable line exclusive to the department store and his line, Butterfly by Matthew Williamson did made its way to Debenhams Times Square along with the likes of John Rocha, Jasper Conran and sensuous lingeries from UK's lingerie queen Janet Reger.

Born in Chorlton, Manchester on 23rd October 1971, he studied fashion when he was just 17 after receiving an offer from the Central Saint Martins to do his first BA degree in Fashion Design and Printed Textile. After graduating in 1994, Williamson became a freelancer with his first design project with Italian fashion house Marni. Later, he was employed by the British Monsson and Accessorize company in London, where he began to develop his own swatches of fabric containing detailed embroidery and beading.

On Summer 1997, Williamson made a call from Vogue UK and met then fashion assistant, Plum Sykes for a meeting. Encouraged by her reaction to his fabric swatches and ideas, Matthew created a small womenswear collection which resulted in a September fashion show comprising a mere 11 outfits - unheard of for a fashion show.
Equally unheard of was that Jade Jagger, Helena Christensen and Kate Moss all agreed to model at a debut show. The reaction from the fashion industry was incredibly positive and Matthew's fashion career was born.

Apart from designing ready-to-wear collection, Willamson too engaged in various artistic projects such as designing limited edition bottles for Coca-Cola for Spring 2004, which also became an integral part of his collection; a limited edition collection of notebooks and social stationery for Smythson, rugs inspired from his travels for The Rug Company, and limited edition wallpaper based on floral broacde with two colorways for Habitat. Williamson too came out with his debut fragrance for women called Matthew Williamson in 2005. In 2006, the fragrance ad campaign won FiFi's "Best Fragrance Advertising" award.

As one of UK's most talented young designer, Williamson have won accolades ranging from Elle Designer of the Year 2004 to the prestigious Moet and Chandon Fashion Award.

Although he designs for his nameske company, the designer was appointed as the new creative director for Emillio Pucci, in 2005. His first ready-to-wear collection for Pucci debuted in Milan on February 2006 was injected with youthful freshness to the label.

Today, his ready-to-wear collection are sold at numerous multi-brand boutiques and departmental stores worldwide. A touch of oriental, intricate beadworks, candy-colored stripes and psychedelic prints are the elements used in his current Spring/Summer 2007 collection. Must have pieces for the moment from Matthew Williamson are printed black tunic with large floral prints, sweaters with candy hue swashes and sequin details, and metallic silver leggings.

William Matthewson's Spring/Summer 2007 Collection is available now at TriBeCa Boutique, Kuala Lumpur while Matthew Williamson for Pucci S/S07 collection is available Pucci stores.

*Photos courtesy of Matthew Williamson Company.

TriBeCa - First Floor, Suria KLCC, Jalan Ampang, Kuala Lumpur.
Emillio Pucci - Ground Floor, Suria KLCC, Jalan Ampang, Kuala Lumpur.

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