Matthew Williamson is a renowned British fashion designer who collaborated with Nottingham-based sofa manufacturer Duresta to launch his first bespoke furniture collection. We had a chance to catch up with Matthew Williamson before the launch party at abc home, where he opened up about the collection, his background, and his affinity for prints.
Both British in origin, Duresta is a natural match for Williamson’s collection. He told us about his long relationship with them explaining that, “Duresta is a British heritage brand. I’ve known them since I was a little boy I remember my parents had a Duresta sofa it’s a truly British name and their craftsmanship is second to none.” This is what Duresta is known for: hand-assembled hardwood frames, top quality filling and padding, exclusive fabrics from the most prestigious mills to maintain quality and craftsmanship.
Williamson is a true free spirit; from his fashion to his furniture it is never dull. He explains this strong sense of imagination, “like my fashion, my furniture has a very eclectic taste; I love all eras all styles all decades. I’m not really like a slave to the 70s or any particular period or style. I love the mix, much like abc I believe there should be a sense of playfulness in the home.” The pieces incorporate prints and patterns, some with the butterfly that is an iconic emblem for Williamson. This mixing of colors with natural elements is something that Williamson comes back to often in his designs. Williamson sees this as a similarity with abc, “nature has been a constant thread of inspiration…just like at abc. I recognize that similar conscious thread of everything here. There are the natural elements, a sort of rustic quality mixed with neons and bright colors. abc and I are kindred spirits on that level.”
When asked about his favorite piece from the collection, Williamsons answer sums the designer up perfectly. He says, “The butterfly chaise, I like that it’s romantic and whimsical. We all need a sofa but we don’t need a chaise. I like that frivolous decadence.”
Williamson has glided from fashion to furniture effortlessly. He remarked on this shift, “The transition has been quite seamless so far. No ones questioned me so far or challenged what I’ve been doing. Quite the opposite in fact, the interior world has welcomed me in the UK and parts of the world. It hasn’t been a difficult crossover at all.” With fresh prints and beautiful pieces, it’s no surprise that the interior world has welcomed Williamson with open arms.
Williamson further described to us the difference in the two industries. He explains, “Home is much slower paced, there’s more time to breathe and step back. My ambition with this collection is to add pieces to it. Rather than just go ‘oh I’m done with this lets go on to the next collection’—which is what you do in fashion, it would be nice to think what I can add to the family to make it to grow.”
Matthew Williamson’s collection is a natural fit within abc home. Walking through the space it’s clear that the two are truly kindred spirits. Williamson explained his long-standing love for abc saying, “abc is probably my favorite store since as long as I can remember. I could be hours in the building; it’s always been a source of inspiration to me. We’re channeling the same things. So when the opportunity came for this partnership, I said ‘now I can pat myself on the back, we’re at abc! ’”