COLORFUL CAREER: British designer Matthew Williamson will explore his own career over the last two decades — in a new book, “Matthew Williamson: Fashion, Print & Colouring Book,” which launches on Thursday.
“It’s a look back on my fashion career, specifically print, over the last 20 years,” Williamson told WWD. “We’re celebrating that milestone of our business with this book. It’s kind of a spin-off of the coloring book trend and craze that we’ve all seen. But this book kind of shows the process and the inspiration behind all the prints that I’ve chosen before you get the chance to color your own. So it’s kind of a little more in-depth. It’s intended to sort of show the reader how we got to that final print and the product we made from it. So it’s intended to inspire before you actually try and create your own version.”
Published by Laurence King, the 102-page paperback book features colorful behind-the-scenes photos, images, sketches and prints from the designer such as his dragonfly print. Priced at 15.95 pounds, at current exchange, or $21.23, it is sold on the designer’s web site, Anthropologie and Amazon.
The designer noted that creating the book was similar to designing a collection. “I enjoyed that process most of all,” said Williamson. “From the early stages of research and brainstorming and collecting imagery and creating a sort of skeleton of the final book. We are a print house. We are known for print and pattern color, so it made sense on that level. It’s got more content than just a black and white rendering of patterns, so it kind of made sense that if I could express the journey of each print then I’d be happy to do it. That’s really why we did it.”
The designer, who reorganized his business structure to focus on a direct-to-consumer apparel and lifestyle concept, stepped away from the London runway last year. Alongside his fashion collection, he has ongoing collaborations with The Rug Company and wallpaper and paint firm Osborne and Little. He continues to design Butterfly, a home and fashion range for the British department store chain Debenhams. The designer will launch his home capsule range with CB2, a brand that belongs to Crate and Barrel, in October.
“We’ve now got a full web site platform that sells fashion furniture, wallpapers, stationary, sportswear,” said Williamson. “So it’s kind of a 360 approach. We’ve come off schedule with the shows and we’ve gone direct-to-customer, so obviously with that trend we’ve gone with that route. We’re now seeing a really great lifestyle development with all these projects — be it the coloring book, be it the furniture. They’re all kind of my ultimate goal, which is to be a lifestyle designer, not just purely fashion. So they all feel like a natural extension from the DNA of the women’s wear that I’ve done for 20 years. So I’m looking forward to building on that and creating a portfolio of more interior projects really.”
The designer plans to travel through October to Tokyo and Australia with the furniture to promote and sell overseas then will visit New York.