Network: My Technology - Smaller than a pack of cigarettes

Leading British fashion designer Matthew Williamson talks about the beauty of his Motorola V688 mobile phone

Technology is definitely getting more and more beautiful. I think it is the added touches that make things stand out. The one thing that runs through all of them is technical features, but the pieces of technology that really stand out are the ones that have the added value of looking great as well.

I was a consultant on Motorola's latest campaign, with Jodie Kidd as the model, and it's pushing the whole fashion thing. I work with Motorola because it's really crucial (we are working in an industry where everything is about the aesthetic of what you are doing) that we co-brand with a company and indeed a product that we are proud to be associated with.

With the V Series phone I look at it and I think it is an incredible piece of equipment. It becomes more than just a little gadget, and you can attach to it some aspirational fashion value. What strikes you is its size; it's a tiny, tiny phone, the smallest phone in the world; smaller than a packet of cigarettes.

When you lay all the different types of mobile phones on a table there isn't much between them in terms of pros and cons. But what I think this phone has to offer is its size, and the fact that it is so compact, light, weighs practically nothing, is easy to use and the digits are easy to punch. It's just such an effortless piece of technology. For that reason I think it lends itself so well to a more fashionable audience. And it slips into a handbag.

Because of its size it becomes more of an accessory: it's a social network phone. The type of people who tend to use it are not necessarily business people.

I have designed a limited edition case for this phone that is black with hologram glitter to give a party, disco feel - particularly at night when it becomes a spangly, sparkly number. It also has a butterfly embossed on the front.

The phone was a VIP part of the invitation to my show and went to Jade and Bianca Jagger, the photographer Mario Testino and all the top models - Naomi Campbell, Kate Moss, Jodie Kidd: very lucky ladies.

The phones came in very useful at the show. Most of the production team use headsets, but if there is a problem with the radio it's handy to know that there are four of us in the team who have a mobile. Mostly it was used when the audience were filtering in and we needed to do light checks and various bits and bobs. It was great to be able to communicate from backstage to the front of house.

Otherwise I don't often use the mobile, to be honest. You see, only five people know the number and it's really a hotline. I did have a phone prior to working with Motorola, and used it even less because it just became a burden to me. It was so heavy it was like a brick. I just use the basic office equipment: faxes, phones and computers.

There is a lot of technology in the show but it's not really me who deals with that, it is a whole different arena with it's own production team called Inca. My role is really to give an aesthetic sense for those people to work with. Sure, there's always a worry because I am not informed enough about it and it's horrible to be thinking - can I pull it off, can we do it? But it's a case of experimenting and keeping on trying and rehearsing.

None the less, I am slowly but surely getting more and more involved in technology. I did find it interesting watching the lighting for our show come together as a technical process. We wanted quite a dramatic effect and the logistics took a hell of a long time to work out. So the final results made me think that what you can do is quite limitless. And how unaware I was of the scale, how many people and how much was needed to create what I thought, in my head, was quite straightforward.

I have noticed that the shows have got more and more elaborate, and that the people expect them to be so as well - as you grow, you are expected to pull out more tricks. It's always a fine line between putting on a fashion show and creating a theatrical spectacle. But at the end of the day what we are doing is showing the clothes: I am not a film designer.

Matthew has collaborated with Motorola on the latest advertising campaign for the Motorola V3688 due for launch October 1999, acting as creative consultant on the campaign

Arts and Entertainment

Great British Bake Off
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

    Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

    But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
    Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

    Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

    Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
    Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

    Joe Biden's 'tease tour'

    Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
    Britain's 24-hour culture: With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever

    Britain's 24-hour culture

    With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever
    Diplomacy board game: Treachery is the way to win - which makes it just like the real thing

    The addictive nature of Diplomacy

    Bullying, betrayal, aggression – it may be just a board game, but the family that plays Diplomacy may never look at each other in the same way again
    Lady Chatterley's Lover: Racy underwear for fans of DH Lawrence's equally racy tome

    Fashion: Ooh, Lady Chatterley!

    Take inspiration from DH Lawrence's racy tome with equally racy underwear
    8 best children's clocks

    Tick-tock: 8 best children's clocks

    Whether you’re teaching them to tell the time or putting the finishing touches to a nursery, there’s a ticker for that
    Charlie Austin: Queens Park Rangers striker says ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

    Charlie Austin: ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

    After hitting 18 goals in the Premier League last season, the QPR striker was the great non-deal of transfer deadline day. But he says he'd preferred another shot at promotion
    Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

    How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

    Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
    Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

    'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

    In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
    Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

    The Arab Spring reversed

    Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
    King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

    Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

    Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
    Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

    Who is Oliver Bonas?

    It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
    Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

    Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

    However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
    60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

    60 years of Scalextric

    Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones