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Style & the city

When fashion designer Matthew Williamson moved to London 25 years ago, it was love at first sight

Photography Osbourne & Little

"I first moved to London from Manchester when I was 17 to study at Central Saint Martins. It's an iconic city - I fell in love with it as soon as I arrived and it has been my home ever since. I lived in a little fl at in King's Cross back then. It was so small, but I made it home, pasting paper teacups to the kitchen furniture to personalise the space.

There was so much happening creatively in the 1990s. There was the Young British Artists (YBA) movement and rave culture, and style magazines like Dazed & Confused were gaining more prominence. It was an exciting time and I absorbed everything like a sponge.

Nothing much has changed since then - London is still full of energy and enterprise, and it continues to breed creativity. Although King's Cross, with its new station and the Central Saint Martins campus, has become more gentrified.I look back on those days fondly now. When you are that young, everything seems possible. Opening my store on Bruton Street in 2004 was the realisation of a dream. Mayfair has always been the destination for luxury shopping, and though that hasn't changed, in the last few years a lot more boutiques and galleries have moved off Bond Street and into the smaller roads like Dover Street and Mount Street.

During my time as creative director at Pucci (from 2005 to 2008), I travelled a lot, dividing my time between London and Milan. I love the sense of drama and faded romance of Milan, there is a very different pace there. But when I was away from London, it was the little things I missed - a good cup of English tea, walking my dog Coco on Hampstead Heath, being able to hail a cab anywhere, any time.

For a while now, I've lived around Primrose Hill and Belsize Park. There is a great sense of community and lots of lush green parks. It's close to central London yet has a relaxed village atmosphere, so I have the best of both worlds. I've often said if I wasn't in fashion I would have loved to work in interiors. For me, it's important that the spaces where I live and work are both functional and personal. It's the little details - like books, pictures and trinkets - that make each space unique."

Matthew is working on his second collection of wallpapers and furnishing fabrics with Osborne & Little. Catch his AW14 fashion collection at London Fashion Week in February

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