London fashion week has fashion, written with a capital letter. Basically it’s something New York fashion week rarely has anything to do with (even though this season wasn’t that bad, as we had bold Tomo Koizumi and Area). But back to London. Matty Bovan is the person who seems to be out of the serious, commercial fashion cycle. That’s why everybody loves him, from Love Magazine’s Katie Grand to Coach’s Stuart Vevers, who collaborates with Bovan on accessories. Matty’s autumn-winter 2019 collection was a fabulous madhouse. The garments felt like three-dimensional collages, even like assamblage art. The colourful knits were beautifully destructed, while the closing gowns were layered and layered with patches, tassels, leftover fabrics and who knows what else. It’s fun, bad in a good away, a middle finger to the established system of what a ready-to-wear collection should look (and be) like. It’s good to know somebody does it. It’s a very rare thing nowadays – sadly.
Collage by Edward Kanarecki.
Matty Bovan can be described with one word: colour. Remember the graffiti-like doodles on Marc Jacobs’ spring-summer 2016 backpacks and coats? That’s Bovan’s (and his colleague, AV Robertson) work. If you type @babbym into your search bar on Instagram, prepare for an apogee of extremely layered make-up looks, glitter, paint and spontaneous sketches. Basically, Matty is on everybody’s lips in the industry for a pretty long time. So seeing his debut collection during Lulu Kennedy’s Fashion East show was a perfect occasion to completely absorb, and get the point, of the designer’s cheerful, rainbow-coloured world.
With support from Love Magazine‘s Katie Grand, Matty sent a line of “really cool” models down the runway – there was Lily Sumner, Teddy Quinlivan, and even Lily McMenamy, all in Bovan’s energetically hand-printed trousers and hand-knitted, quite unclassified garments. Even Stuart Vevers, the creative director of Coach, let the art-school dreamer sugar-coat the brand’s classical leather bags for this event. In a range of fun-clothing, we can find fish-net sweaters and neon-green dresses, chaotically cut up and fringed. Matty’s inspirations for spring-summer 2017 included a line of artists and photographers, who never said “no” to colour, and a DIY kind of way of making things: Stephen Sprouse, Keith Haring and Maripol. Miranda Joyce, who collaborated with the Matty on make-up, took hints from Nina Hagen, the “Godmother of Punk”. London is about limitless creativity, right?