L-R: Matthew Williamson, his mum Maureen, and Anna-Louise, founder of STYLEetc magazine
Amongst the bustle in Flannels at Vogue Fashion’s Night Out, Anna-Louise Gilhooley of STYLEetc managed to grab a few minutes with the much sought after fashion designer, and one of the stars of the night, Matthew Williamson.
A born Mancunian, Matthew’s eye catching and colour-popping designs have caught the eyes of Kate Moss, Sienna Miller, and Poppy Delevingne. In the 15 years since his debut collection called ‘Electric Angels’, he has collected a hareem of beautiful, bohemian muses from the fashion and modelling world who choose to wear his party dresses. But his biggest inspiration has been his mum Maureen, who we also had the honour of meeting.
Matthew tells us what influences his designs, what he thinks of the Manchester fashion vibe, and how to use the power of clothing..
Just to begin, what do you think about Vogue bringing Fashion’s Night Out to Manchester?
“In a word, fabulous. I am a big fan of Vogue and a big fan of Alex Shulman (Editor of British Vogue). She has supported my career for 16 years and I am just so flattered to be here in Manchester. It is my home town, I was born here, I was educated here, so I take any excuse to come back.
How would you explain your brand’s ‘DNA’?
Matthew looks thoughtful..
I would say it’s all about a woman who understands a certain true sense of bohemia. She’s serious, jet-set, cultured, well travelled, and she is a peacock!
I want to be a peacock!
You are a peacock!
Haha, I’ll get there…
Our magazine is called STYLEetc, how would you describe your own style?
I would say it’s a mash-up.. a Matthew mash up of whatever I can find! I wear a combination of high end and high street. My trousers are Topman, my jacket is bespoke.
And how would you describe the Manchester fashion scene?
I hate the word cool but, it’s kinda cool! And I think there is again a real mash-up. Today I saw a couple of girls at about 4 o’clock in the afternoon and I thought, are you going out or are you at work? It was hard to tell.
I like that mix of putting a lot of effort into clothing, standing out, but having a look that’s pulled together, confident, and thought about.
What would you say was the difference that clothes make to a woman’s confidence on the inside?
Fashion is the one tool that every women, and man, has to make themselves feel instantly better. It’s a tool that you can use wherever you choose to. You don’t have to, but I think if you do, it can make you feel more optimistic and more positive. I look at my mum and she is the perfect canvas. In the time when I was growing up in the 70′s in Manchester, and when every woman around seemed to be wearing grey, and wasn’t very fashion conscious, my mum used fashion, and she made it armour to give her confidence and uplift her. She inspires me a lot.
I want to meet your mum!
Well she’s here, knock yourself out!
Aw, thank you, can we get a picture with her too?
Last question, what are your favourite trends or collections for AW13?
My favourite trends? Well I heard.. tartans gonna be big! No, I don’t really follow trends, its my job to make the trends. My big trend is just.. preciousness, the things that will be enduring, textures, colour, and something intricate.”
Above: Vogue picked a Matthew Williamson embroidered floral dress, with mosaic style detailing, as their recommended buy.
Below: Matthew strikes a pose, and Anna-Louise has the honour of sharing the limelight with his mum.
Find Matthew Williamson’s AW13 collection in full technicolour at Flannels in Spinningfields, or online here