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Matthew Williamson was a very popular man on Saturday night. He was honored at a Brit Week fashion show as GenLux's Designer of the Year, and a throng of glamorous people were clamoring for his attention, but he took a few minutes out of his crazy-busy LA schedule to chat. He's crazy-charming; we wouldn't have believed it possible to be more infatuated with the designer's bright, breezy and feminine Spring/Summer'10 collection, but after watching the pieces go down the runway then talking to the designer himself, we're thoroughly smitten.
Los Angeles store, please please please?
We've been looking into it. There's really been quite a demand, and we do have so many fans here, but these are maybe not the best times to open a new store. I would love to, but maybe not right now. Me and my business partners have been talking about a popup store, similar to the one in New York, in the Meatpacking District. That could be soon.
So as far as artists go, who's inspiring you right now?
Right now, I'm working on the Spring/Summer'11 collection, and it's not really about an artist as it is being inspired by an idea. It's the idea of a girl being shipwrecked on an island, a beach. As she comes to grips with being stuck on the beach, she starts to reinvent her wardrobe. She's a city girl, and she's trying to make her city clothes work on this deserted beach. That's what I've been inspired by now, but this collection?I admire the work of Jim Lambie, he's a favorite, and you can see the influence in the color palette.
Part of tonight's event was a commemoration of the life and work of Alexander McQueen. In your mind, what's his definitive legacy?
There's not simply one thing. His brilliance. He was unquestionably a genius, and his shoes won't soon be filled again. If ever. He's left a tremendous void, and I'm not sure if anyone can occupy that same space. Tonight was such an honor; to have my work presented alongside his.
What American designers are doing it for you right now; is there anything in American fashion that's impressing you?
Would you believe I don't spend a lot of time looking, I'm not the sort who knows who the hottest, newest, up-and-coming designers are. That's how I work, I focus on my own projects. I do like a couple of British designers, including Mary Katrantzou.
You just finished up a fun project for Belvedere, and your H&M collection was really well-received. Any collaborations coming up soon?
Yes, I'm working on a book. It's going to be written by Colin McDowell, with an introduction by Sienna Miller. With a few more contributors, maybe. Anna Wintour possibly. So I'm very excited about that.
And so are all the rest of us!
· Matthew Williamson [Official Site]