Matthew Williamson is a dyed-in-the-wool fashion nomad, plucking inspiration from all around the globe to weave into his colorful wares. This season, he claimed to have found his spark on his first visit to Tokyoa whirlwind 48-hour press trip he took for his bosses at Emilio Pucci. After last spring's much-criticized Day-Glo Ibizan romp, Williamson was aiming for polish and refinement, but his habitual layering of color, texture, and statement-making silhouettes didn't leave much room for either goal. There were metallic brocades, icy jacquards, and heavy, jewel-toned satins, all crusted with chunks of crystal. A vintage streak showed up in the form of patchworked furs, a purple Mondrian-print coat, and palazzo pants topped with patterned Lurex turtlenecks.
The collection may have been intended to capture the frenetic energy of a teeming neon metropolis where fashion statements are a national pastime, but on the runway the effect was overwhelming. Amid the visual overload, though, were looks of the sort that Williamson does best, like a slim printed gown in a swirling print on Coco Rocha or a Deco beaded tunic. It might be here that the designer can find what he's been looking for.