Matthew Williamson was born in Chorlton, Manchester, on October 23rd, 1971.
After graduating from St. Martin’s London in 1994, he started his early life with a back-packing tour of Mexico and Guatemala, soaking up the colours and designs and a brilliant colour palette which became useful in later life. He made 17 trips to India learning techniques for the intricate embroidery that features in his work. Alongside these trips, he freelanced with Monsoon for two years.
In 1996, he launched his own label, showing a collection of fluid, bias-cut dresses and skirts as well as cashmere twinsets. The use of sweaters over such dresses suggests a nonchalant glamour, which allows his clothes to pass smoothly from day to evening wear. He called his first collection "Electric Angels". Every piece was handcrafted.
Matthew Williamson Company was founded in February 1997 by designer, Matthew Williamson and CEO, Joseph Velosa.
In the Summer of 1997, a cold call to British Vogue led to a meeting Plum Sykes, the then fashion assistant at the magazine.
Encouraged by her reaction to his ideas, Matthew created a small women’s wear collection which resulted in a September fashion show comprising a mere 11 outfits.
In Spring/Summer 2003 he also presented in addition to his own collection a knitwear collection for Scottish cashmere company Ballantyne which is a conservative traditional brand who wanted Williamson to pep things up a little.
His achievements in the fashion industry have been recognized consistently: Matthew Williamson won Elle designer of the year 2004 was awarded the 2005 Moet & Chandon fashion tribute and has received numerous nominations. He has also been nominated three times as designer of the year at the British fashion awards.
Whilst continuing at the design helm of his namesake company, in 2005 Matthew took over as the Creative Director at Emilio Pucci, the luxury Italian fashion house owned by LVMH. Having always loved Emilio Pucci’s work from the 60s and 70s, this step was a dream come true for Matthew.
2007 marks the 10 year anniversary for Matthew Williamson, since the debut “Electric Angels” show back in September 1997. To celebrate this to full effect, Matthew Williamson is curating an exhibition focusing on the design and process of his work at the Design Museum London, running from 16th October.
Filmy fabrics, dusky pastels, lots of pretty details, delicate lace and opalescent organza thick with embroidery, scattered with beads are the kind of dainty garments that are so popular with his clientele.
Sienna Miller, Lindsy Lohan, Halle Berry, Naomi Watts, Gwyneth Paltrow, Kirsten Dunst, Heather Graham, Jade Jagger, Sophie Dahl, Plum Sykes