LONDON — Matthew Williamson marks the 15th anniversary of hislabel and its color-drenched, embellished designs this month, and isplanning a slew of new projects to help celebrate the milestone.
ComeOct. 31, the designer will launch a short film that features SiennaMiller, Poppy Delevingne and Valentine Fillol-Cordier onNet-a-porter.com, with the women wearing limited-edition dresses byWilliamson, embellished with Swarovski crystals.
Shot by thedirecting duo Tell No One, the Swarovski-sponsored film captures thewomen and dancers from London’s Royal Ballet company wandering aroundthe Cotswolds country house Aynhoe Park, in what Joseph Velosa, chiefexecutive and cofounder of Matthew Williamson, described as a“dreamscape” narrative.
Williamson added: “We wanted [the film]to capture the essence of our brand and everything we’ve achieved overthose 15 years.” Once the film has aired on Net-a-porter, shoppers willbe able to buy the limited-edition dresses from the site, along withthree embellished clutch bags.
On the product front, this yearwill also see Williamson branch out into new categories of shoes,leather handbags and interiors, through three new licenses. Williamsonhas signed licenses with GMI USA Corp. for footwear; TLG Brands U.K. forhandbags, and Osborne & Little to produce a line of wallpapers andhome furnishing fabrics.
“We’re a brand that’s now got a richDNA. There’s a history, there’s an archive and there’s a real sense —both from a creative point of view and a business perspective — thatthose categories feel right,” said Williamson. “The designs [will have]all the same sort of elements that I have in my ready-to-wear, but mykey objective is to add new layers, freshness and keep things up to dateand moving forward.”
Velosa added: “We have naturally evolvedinto a lifestyle brand over the years and the time feels right to addrelevant strands to our fashion core. We have three stand-alone storesand two franchise partners, and they particularly wanted accessories tobe part of the mix, so we have a full offer.”
Part of theItalian-made footwear collection will be shown during Williamson’sspring 2013 runway show here on Sunday and will launch at wholesale inmid-September. The handbag collection will launch during fall 2013 andthe interiors line will launch in September 2013. Prices for thecollections haven’t been decided, but Velosa said they will be within“the designer bracket.” Velosa expects accessories to eventually make upbetween 20 and 30 percent of the label’s business.
Williamsonnoted that the shoes to be shown on the runway take their cues fromRajasthani embroidery and beading and will sport a “sculptural heel.”Williamson is working with footwear designer Joanne Stoker on thecollection. The bags will be a collection of day styles while Williamsonis finalizing designs for the Osborne & Little line. “I’m riflingthrough my archive of all the prints and putting forward a short list ofwhat could translate into furnishings and wallpaper,” the designersaid.
As for the imminent spring read-to-wear collection,Williamson said that he looked to the work of New York-based artistShane McAdams for inspiration. “He’s doing these incredible coloredcanvases that are like distorted landscapes.…His work feels like mywork,” he said, adding of the collection, “There’s a lot of texture andpattern and color, [and it’s] of course referencing things I’ve done inthe past, but hopefully it’s going to have a very fresh slant.”
“Azzedine has been one of the biggest influences in my life. He has always been such a strong, loving, fatherly figure to me. I call him Papa. His designs are indescribably unique, they are pieces of art. He knew how to make the female form look its loveliest. I have so many memories of him; my favorite might be during my first show with him in Paris. He liked me and he wanted to help me get more work. He called all his friends at Kenzo and Comme des Garcons, and asked them to book me. They said, ‘But she can’t walk!’ And he said, ‘but she has such a great ass!' His friendship and support has been the great privilege of my career. I can't imagine life without him. Repose en paix mon Papa.” - @stephanieseymour tells @wwd. #wwdfashion (📷: @steveeichner) #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa, flanked by two of his closest friends, models Stephanie Seymour and Naomi Campbell.
He designed Seymour’s dress for her 1995 wedding to Peter Brant, and treated Campbell (who famously called him Papa), like a daughter. For more on the legendary designer, tap the link in bio. #wwdfashion #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa's “I-did-it-my-way” ethos stood out starkly at a time when brands are experimenting with consumer-facing fashion shows, coed formats and trans-seasonal collections – anything to perk up lackluster sales of ready-to-wear in an age of Insta-everything. “It’s not creation anymore. This becomes a purely industrial approach,” the late designer told WWD in an interview last year. “But anyway, the rhythm of collections is so stupid. It’s unsustainable. There are too many collections.” Read more about the iconic designer’s life and work on wwd.com, link in bio. #wwdfashion #azzedinealaia (📷: @WWD Archive, 1986) #alaia
Sneaker reselling app @goat’s latest exhibit, "The Greatest: New York," tells the story of New York's sneaker culture. To celebrate the exhibit, an intimate crowd gathered on Thursday night at the pop-up gallery space, located at Platform in Culver City, to hear guest speaker and illustrator @esymai talk about her own rise in streetwear and women in the business. "For me I'm just someone who is creative. I like to create things," said Chang. #wwdfashion
Azzedine Alaïa, one of the most iconic couturiers of the modern era whose body-con designs defined Eighties fashion, has died in Paris. The diminutive Tunisian-born designer, known for his structured knitted dresses with fitted waists and impeccably cut, figure-hugging second skin silhouettes was deeply admired by his peers, and counted supermodel Naomi Campbell - his adoptive daughter - among his inner circle, one of a gang of glamazons including Farida Khelfa, Carla Bruni and Stephanie Seymour who became ambassadors of his style. (📷: Alexandre Guirkinger) #wwdblast