Matthew Williamson cited his inspiration as Francisco Infante-Arana, the Russian artist who photographs mirrored sculptures in various landscapes, creating a fun-house version of the natural world. That gave you all those oddly hued sharp geometric prints played off beaded and ombré Mongolian lamb chubbies. And it was echoed in that patchworked blanket wool, toughened up with black leather and a goth Fair Isle sweater dress that came uncomfortably close to last Fall's Givenchy.
It always seems like Williamson is looking for ways to wrap his soft bohemian reputation in a tougher and artier skin. While no one wants to see an Ibizan rehash, he often seems to stumble over this goal. (See those dresses sprouting curves of marabou from shoulder to hip.) But there was a detectable change for the better here, a streamlining, a lightness. Consider the lovely simplicity in that lipstick red shift on Ajak Deng with a beaded collar, and even in the ensemble of a red sliced-lapel jacket worn over a nude sheer blouse and sequin and feather skirt.
At a preview, the designer mentioned he wasn't using a stylist for his Fall collection, the first time in 14 years. "I couldn't be happier," he said. Whether that's the reason is anyone's guess. At any rate, a stylist might have found chicer shoes.