February 13, 2000
Mathew Williamson decided he wanted the audience to concentrate on the clothes, rather than on Jade Jagger's latest look, so he banished his famous fans from the front row to the after-party. It wasn't hard to focus since Williamson opened his show with an attention-grabbing dress made of skeins of crystal worn by the giraffelike Jodie Kidd. He followed this with a show inspired by the colors and shapes of stained-glass windows, with a very modern take. Black dresses with cutout work were backed with hot pinks, limes and oranges to create a very graphic look, and were lit up at the end of the show to great effect. But Williamson's softer pieces were where he excelled: There was a wonderfully chic black silk dress with beaded lime chiffon hidden under pleats; amazingly floaty fishtailed chiffon skirts; and my personal favorite, a Day-Glo yellow chiffon evening dress, backless and pulled in at the waist with a beaded back lace sash. This has to be one of the sexiest, most magical evening dresses I have seen so far this season. And in a season of suits, a splash of romance is utterly refreshing.