MATTHEW WILLIAMSON'S SECRET GARDEN
There’s something about Matthew Williamson. During my days at Vogue House it was the sample sale that caused the biggest stir of excitement in the office – and exposed a serious lack of control. On one occasion I went on the Thursday, emptied my bank account and then got paid on the Friday (yes, the following day) so went back for another go. The designs conjure up a clever mash-up of romance and fun, prettiness and sophistication and, crucially, they’re cut beautifully. Still to this day one of my sample sale finds, a beautiful white embroidered summer coat with neon detail on the cuffs and lapel edges, is my most treasured item in my wardrobe.
So when an invitation landed in my inbox to join the Matthew Williamson summer party in their enchanting pop-up garden – currently wowing visitors at Blakes Hotel and open until mid-July – I knew I’d struck gold. An uber girly gang of gown-lovers congregated beneath dappled sunlight to sip Hendrick’s cocktails from teacups and neck shots of green-machine nettle soups AND witness the unveiling of the swoon-worthy pre-fall collection. A plethora of flowing printed silks, mosaic-inspired kick skirts and pinch-yourself-you’re-not-dreaming tassel boots, showcased in a riot of fantastical colours, awaited us in a crisp white Blakes suite ready for the ultimate dressing-up party.
A golden afternoon slipped by in what seemed like nanoseconds; leaving Blakes and stepping back into the real world can't have been a world away from how Edmund, Susan and co felt after bidding farewell to Aslan and clambering out of their magical wardrobe. It was the dream way to keep my holiday vibes alive after landing back from Antibes earlier that morning (look out for my upcoming blog posts on my recent visit). Luckily there are some photos, captured by Andreea Bogdan, to prove it all really happened...