Wait a minute, sorry, I was looking for the Matthew Williamson show. This seems to be Jaeger London. What? This is Matthew Williamson? But what about this opening outfit of a tweed short jacket over a matching dress, the one with ruffles going diagonally up the front of the jacket in the manner of an opera scarf worn by women of a certain age the world over? This can't be Williamson, surely.
Well, according to the press release on the seats, it was. And then the second outfit confirmed it: a silk multicolored one-shoulder minidress, worn with white ankle boots and tanned bare legs. Perfect for autumn/winter, of course. Now that's more like the Matthew Williamson we know.
This designer will always be best known, probably to his grudging chagrin, for making bright young things for bright young things. Some seasons he seems content to do what he does well. And some seasons he does not, and instead gets all experimental and mature on his audience. In this collection, he did both, interspersing frankly baffling forays into pleated tweed and heavy, dull coats with sexy silky dresses that will unquestionably look fantastic on the dance floor in Ibiza.
But this is not to say that Williamson should only design for the likes of Olivia Palermo and his perma-muse Sienna Miller, both of whom were in his front row. In fact, he is often very good at designing for older women—inspired, no doubt, by his glorious mother, Maureen, who has been sporting her son's hot pink and turquoise offerings from the very beginning of his career. The best pieces in this collection, in fact, would look great on a grown-up customer. Among them: a long-sleeve silk dress that came out toward the end, with a narrow belted waist; and a pair of sleeveless shift dresses—one in blue, one in silvery tweed—with gently ruffled hems with ribbon piping. These worked precisely because they showed Williamson at his feminine, jewel-colored best. The heavy dresses with embellishment and strange cropped jackets, on the other hand, were as successful as a square peg's attempt to try to force itself into a round hole.