2009 February 16

Party in Technicolor

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Glenda Bailey, Joy Bryant in Matthew Williamson, Matthew Williamson, Becki Newton in vintage, and Tyra Banks Glenda Bailey, Joy Bryant in Matthew Williamson, Matthew Williamson, Becki Newton in vintage, and Tyra Banks
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(NEW YORK) “I always think of some techno native American princess that lives in London,” gushed Joy Bryant of the aesthetic of her “dear friend” and the man of the hour, Matthew Williamson. The British design wonder was being fêted by fellow Brit Glenda Bailey at Norwood Friday night to celebrate his move across the pond--no, desolé, city chicettes, he’s not coming to live here; Williamson is opening his first New York boutique in the Meatpacking District. “This is my second home,” Williamson said. “I love coming to New York. There’s a strong energy, and I love showing here.”

Celebrating at the intimate dinner were old and new friends of the designer’s, like Becki Newton and Tyra Banks, who both fawned over his creations. “I love that he’s so fabulous, and when you look at his clothes, he’s so much fun--so you can be chic and also express yourself at the same time when you’re wearing his things,” said Newton. “I fell in love with a dress of his a few years back that was pink, turquoise and white leopard, with beading around the neck, and I thought, ‘All you have to do is throw on one of his things, and you look amazing.’”

Banks, wearing a long, black Williamson design, agreed. “This is really flowy, and I have curves, and that’s what I love about his stuff,” she said “I don’t have to be in a vise! And I love the prints, the embellishments--it’s just enough. I was going to put on a necklace tonight, but I was like, ‘No, Matthew has already supplied my necklace, around my lovely waistline.’”

“Matthew and I have known each other for a long time, since our days in Britain,” said Bazaar EIC Bailey. “It’s so nice to be able to see him come to America, because what his clothes stand for are really womanly, really warm, so optimistic, so upbeat--really perfect for what we need right now.”

“This is an opportunity for me to experience the American industry,” said Williamson of his opening. “This is me, take it or leave it, love it or hate it. I’ve put my heart and soul into this store, it’s my passion. I love interiors. I love making clothes, and making a beautiful space to put the clothes in.” And though he was ready to relax and enjoy the party, he couldn’t wait to show off his new digs. “If we’re not all too drunk, we’ll stumble down and have a look!” he said. “It’s really special.”

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