Matthew's Interview in The Fall Magazine
“He studied with McQueen and Galliano, had La Moss on the catwalk at his first show and for 20 years has designed beautiful pieces that are about getting women noticed.” So begins Sigmund Oakeshott’s interview with Matthew for The Fall Magazine, a new fashion, arts and culture biannual that launches today in London. Read on for an extract from the article and buy the magazine in newsagents nationwide from today.
At school in Manchester, Matthew was “keen to bring colour into my life with art or textiles because, around me, there wasn’t any. I loved Gustav Klimt, that art-nouveau period of decorative arts, the pre-Raphaelites. I was fascinated by the romantic painters, the otherworldly painters. I knew I needed to put a lot of work into getting out. I just wasn’t happy where I was.”
If the turquoises of painted ladies and the greens of goliath bird wings on the studio’s own-brand wallpaper illustrate Williamson’s adeptness as a colourist and show his wanderlust, his black and white sketches for his next collection demonstrate his draughtsmanship. “I never thought I was really good enough to be a painter. What was clear to me was how I could create clothes,” he says modestly. “I know what my strengths and weaknesses are. I can’t cut a pattern in the next hour to a new silhouette that will change the face of fashion. I can’t do it. I know my colours.” And so we have the diverse, contrasting palettes of India, intricate Mesoamerican beading and Moroccan geometric patterns.
“I’m always going back to parts of the world that are rich in tones and craftsmanship.”
“It’s bohemian expression. I’m always trying to put that in my work for the sense of escapism, and that can be as much as a girl going to an event in a colourful gown and feeling that all eyes are on her. I’ve always wanted my clothes to be talked about – they are not wallflower clothes.”