MATTHEW WILLIAMSON AUTUMN/WINTER 2015-16 READY-TO-WEAR LONDON
Like Kim Kardashian, Picasso, and Snoop Dogg—all the greats—Matthew Williamson was born on the Libra-Scorpio cusp. Which makes him both aggressive and indecisive, right? “Oh, thanks,” he spat (faux) aggressively, after presenting a dreamily lush lineup that saw the flimflam of horoscopes transformed into a beguiling and luxurious collection of rich beauty.
Williamson took the colors of the zodiac’s birthstones and the iconography of the signs—but not too much of it—as his starting point. Dyed fringed booties; highlighted shearling wraps, coats, and sleeve accents; plus sequined gowns, brocade belts, and immersively enticing printed silk dresses and separates were the tea leaves arranged by his creative swirl into augurs of happiness for party-loving girls. The first third of this show was a knockout—just unapologetic, expertly wielded, intoxicating color combinations that looked to the naked eye about three times more lovely than via the lens.
Wielding such powerfully intense pattern and tone demands control to prevent a descent toward eyestrain, but Williamson knows his territory—although later, his own favorite section of monochrome print rather lacked oomph. The rest, though, had a focused energy that made it a standout show for the designer. Boho seems anachronistic and too vaguely French a term to describe a collection that if it were labeled Gucci would, I predict, have a spectacular commercial future to look forward to. It deserves no less labeled Matthew Williamson.