Showing in New York for the first time, Londoner Matthew Williamson
presented a collection titled "Kaleidescape" that arrived just like a Gypsy
caravan might: embellished to the max and bursting with color.
Shocking, tropical hues of rose, peach, yellow and turquoise brightened
trenchcoats, minis and pantslow-slung and tapered, or wide-waled and
bell-bottomedwhile shredded chiffon skirts were swirling patchworks of
pattern and hue. Williamson's talisman this season was the number five
(marking the number of years he's been in business), which was patched onto
pockets, bags, trenches and military-style jackets. The designer's favorite
Eastern motifs, like paisleys and abstract
florals, made their way onto the beautiful hand-embroidered coat worn by
Alek Wek and the chiffon dresses (really strapless saris) that closed the
evening. Less successful were his continuing experiments with activewear,
especially this season's Airtex dresses.
Williamson's pretty, if somewhat predictable, show included pieces that
should appeal to both his established clientele and to younger (albeit
deep-pocketed) customers. It will be interesting to see if he can develop a
new audience by winning over typically black-clad New Yorkers.