If you needed yet another reason to shop for the summer (as if!), here’s another designer collaboration that you should key into your iPhone calendars. British designer Matthew Williamson, best known by his moniker the “King of Print”, has teamed up with online retailer The Outnet for an exclusive line for its Summer Shop 2016. Comprising of 14 ready-to-wear pieces and 12 swimwear styles (bikinis, bandeaus and one-pieces), the collection is a brilliant reflection of the breezy, bohemian aesthetic that Williamson has trained and honed as his signature. Expect a kaleidoscopic frenzy of von Humboldt-esque flowers and intricate patterns inspired by butterflies and, of course, summer. Here, we speak exclusively to the print wizard himself about his favourite vacation spots, packing essentials, and his love for model Arizona Muse.
Which of your favourite holiday destinations inspired your collection for The Outnet Summer Shop?
MW: It’s kind of a mixed bag. There wasn’t one place in particular, but there’s a little bit of Asia, a little bit of Morocco, a little bit of Bali; kind of a mixed bag of places that I love.
Out of the countries you mentioned, which one will you say you love the most?
MW: Bali. It’s one of my favourite places in the world. I just feel so peaceful there. I’ve been there a few times and it just completely inspired me. I did a whole collection based on Bali a few years ago. The people, they are so gentle and I love everything about it.
Can you complete the sentence: When women wear this collection, they should feel…
And why is that?
MW: Because it’s kind of a celebration of the DNA of my brand, which is about a jet set bohemian feeling. It’s not a uniform; it’s not structured; it’s not any of those restricting things. It’s about the lightness of summer. So yeah, I’d like them to feel easy and peaceful, like they’re in Bali.
What qualities of Arizona Muse resonated with you that you cast her in the collection? Do you guys travel together?
MW: We’ve been to Morocco together. We were there for Poppy Delevingne’s wedding a couple of years ago. We had so much fun one night: We spent it dancing in the desert. She’s an amazing friend and a beautiful model—one of my favourite models for sure. I got to know her better on that trip, and she’s a very kind girl, sweet-natured, gentle soul, you know? She’s got a very lovely spirit.
Through your eyes, what does the word “travelling” mean to you?
MW: I don’t really like travel. I don’t. I hate the process of travelling. But I love when I get to where I want to go. So when I say I’m inspired by travel, I’m really inspired by nature and the culture of the place I’m in.
So you’re inspired by the places themselves, rather than the process of getting there.
MW: Yeah. I’m not inspired by the airport or the taxis. I would say it’s more about places that are different to where I live, what I see every day. Somewhere else where I don’t think there’s anything more incredible than nature. Whether it’s a flamingo or a butterfly or the Grand Canyon, or you know, whatever, a blossom tree in London. I mean, that inspires me, the natural world.
In line with the whole travel theme of this summer collection, what are your own travelling essentials?
MW: T-shirt, shorts, espadrilles, straw hat, sketchbook, SPF 30. You know, the basics. Nothing fancy. I’m not very fancy when I travel.
Lastly, would you rather travel back in time or would you rather travel to the future and why?
MW: I think I’d probably quite like to be around in the Seventies, possibly. I was born in the Seventies…
But you kind of missed that whole era while you were growing up already.
MW: Yeah. But I’m not yearning to go back in time. I’m quite comfortable living in today. I’m at peace with now.
Shop the exclusive Matthew Williamson for The Outnet Summer Shop collection now.