As we entered the Royal Opera House for the Matthew Williamson show, there was definitely something special in the air: The entire venue had been scented with roses, in a nod to the floral prints that adorned silk shirts and pleated full skirts in some of the first looks.
But for most of the collection Williamson took us on a journey through Scandinavia--think Nordic sweaters topped with pompoms, a dress printed with images of the Northern Lights, and richly colored huge fur coats. Little dresses and longer wrap skirts were worked in tapestry, then embroidered over the top to create a deeper, 3D effect. A particular highlight was the icy blue lace dress that unexpectedly and inexplicably shimmered as the model walked, as though crystals had been mashed into the fabric invisibly.
We could have done without the slightly garish full-length gowns at the end (bright green asymmetric, and one that was full fringe over a layer of sequins) but this is a man who knows his audience, and his market. With any luck, this collection will appeal to both his loyal commercial clients and the hundreds of fashion editors in attendance (literally--that venue was huge.)