Welcome back to Moonlighting, a Curbed column in which the talented Raina Cox of If the Lamp Shade Fits takes a look at design players whose first job may not have been design. Have a suggestion for a new Moonlighting topic? Send it o'er here. And in the mean time, Cox is hard at work developing a new series entitled Curbed Interviews, in which major folks in shelter media and design will make their voices heard here on the site. Stay tuned for its launch next month.
British fashion designer Matthew Williamson, the man who, in the late 1990s, married psychedelic fluorescent colorways with high-end hippie fashion, has brought his trippy Goa aesthetic to the home. He recently expanded his Butterfly collection for retailer Debenhams, the U.K.'s equivalent of Macy's, but it wasn't his first time at the collaboration rodeo—he has also designed floor coverings for The Rug Company and bedding and wallpaper (customizable with its own baggy of crystals) for Habitat. The Butterfly line, however, is decidedly more democratic in its pricing and considerably more MTV teen reality show in its look.
Williamson has been working with Debenhams for over two years creating women's clothing, shoes, handbags and accessories. The 2009 opening of Williamson's flagship store in New York City resulted in a cash crunch for his company, so a well-paying mid-market collection is understandable.
An inspiration for the Debenhams line, the designer's Hampstead Heath cottage near London is like a trip down the rabbit hole. The anything-goes interior features a disco-mirrored fireplace, pink neon back-lit kitchen shelves, intricate wallpaper designs of spinal cords and rib bones, and enough pattern to make even Mario Buatta say, "Hey, you might want to think that over."
In a September 2008 Domino feature, Williamson, who approaches each room "like a theater set," said, "Home and work are one big thing for me—a moveable feast. Invariably, where I live starts to look like the season I'm putting together. I'll be holding up fabric for my line and thinking that it would make a fabulous curtain. With the peacock motif, the gowns came first. Then I decided there had to be bed linens too." The designer finds his muse in his far-flung travels: "I have always been inspired by aspects of Eastern and oriental culture, and their hypnotic patterns and warm tones create a beautiful cozy vibrancy."
If spring break in Ibiza is beyond the budget, you can have most of Williamson's Butterfly Home line shipped Stateside for just about $15. A small price to pay to trick your place out like a Christina Aguilera video set circa 2006.
· Butterfly Home by Matthew Williamson [Debenhams]
· Matthew Williamson [The Rug Company]
· Matthew Williamson's bedlinen collection for Habitat [House to Home]
· Rainbow rooms: Fashion designers are bringing a touch of catwalk glamour to our homes [Daily Mail]
· Matthew Williamson experiments at home [The Independent]
· If The Lamp Shade Fits [official site]
· Matthew Williamson's Butterfly Collaboration [Racked National]