January 09, 2014 New York
"English eccentricity" was the theme du jour for Matthew Williamson. But the notable thing about Williamson's latest collection was its expression of another very English value, that of circumspection. The designer's customary exuberance was in play here, in his colorful palette of jewel tones and in the cheery prints that riffed on country house scenery, like berries ripe for plucking and bluebells climbing a lattice. But Williamson's silhouettes erred on the side of prim, and his use of embellishment was atypically reined in. There was a crust of clear sequins on the bodice of a floral cotton piqué gown, for instance, which made the dress catch the light, and a ring of delicate thread embroidery around the waist of a dressy navy jumpsuit. Meanwhile, Williamson's daywear was really rather muted, though his tartan did have a bit of sparkle to it, and you wouldn't pick out his printed neoprene biker jacket for any shrinking violet. Still, the gist of this outing was, less flash, more panache.
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