MILAN — Matty Bovan’s avant-garde maximalism moves to Milan this season and it’s all about bringing his rebellious spirit to the city’s fashion, traditionally rooted in ease of wear.
“I’m incredibly excited because I’m so used to London and it’s really an exciting opportunity for me,” Bovan told WWD, zooming in from Yorkshire in the UK a few days before the show, which is scheduled for September 25 at 4 p.m. :00 CEST. The show is being supported by Dolce & Gabbana as part of a mentoring program that began last February that invites young names to Milan Fashion Week and provides them with fabrics and materials.
“When I was originally contacted, I came to Milan I think in June for the men’s show. I had a meeting with them, they were great and very encouraging, they loved my use of color and use of texture, they told me to do whatever I wanted,” Bovan explained.
A 2015 Central Saint Martins graduate with a master’s degree in fashion knitwear, his postgraduate collection earned him the L’Oréal Professionel Creative Award, followed by the prestigious LVMH Graduate Award, which included €10,000 and a placement as a junior designer. at Louis Vuitton with Nicolas Ghesquière.
In 2021, the designer took home the Woolmark Award, attesting to his mastery of knitwear design, seen by Bovan as his strongest link to Italian fashion.
“Italy is the knitwear capital of the world, so I already have an affinity with Italians’ love of texture and color,” she said.
“It’s really exciting for me, that I’m maybe a bit of a rebel when it comes to how I do the craft, [I’m] a spin on your head [type] slightly, which I think is the point of someone in my position anyway, to challenge people’s expectations, taste level and what people know, especially young people,” he said.
“I want them to look at the collection and think, ‘Oh, you know, I want to learn how to knit, how to crochet, how to screen print.’ That is my role in many ways, to challenge the status quo and push it forward,” she added.
Building on his fall 2022 creative vision of “chaos and destruction,” the spring lineup marks an evolution he described as “controlled chaos,” distilled into texture manipulation that Bovan referred to as “camouflage.”
Just don’t expect military equipment.
“I challenged myself to cover each texture with something that could be fused together, so it was kind of an idea of shapeshifting through this universe, through the different outfits… I started out pretty lazy and then got very particular. with my fabrics, my textures. , everything from then on was very controlled in a sense,” he said.
Lurex jacquards mix with Scottish lambswool knits, custom prints, hand painting, sequins and hand crochet, all worked in layered ensembles, with structured skirts and exaggerated shoulder lines pushing conventions of feminine tropes. .
“It’s a tour de force,” Bovan said. “It’s very Matty Bovan in a way, but it’s an elevated collection of Matty Bovan,” he added.
The trip to Milan also marks an opportunity for Bovan to increase the brand’s visibility and appeal. “That’s a bonus, really,” he said.
He’s been conscious of injecting some more commercial pieces, including best-selling t-shirts and sweatshirts, though the experimental fashion approach is still at the core.
“I pushed that side a little bit more, but to be honest, my modus operandi is to create special pieces,” he said. “I think the role of my work is to provide some fantasy and an exaggeration of the everyday world, but there are a lot of wearables in the collection.”
“People, when they see my work, think it’s avant-garde, but really I design with a wardrobe in mind, so I work on pieces that can be translated into very wearable garments. When you see it, it looks very intense and amplified, but… when you break it down, there are some very wearable things,” he noted.
As part of the tie-up with Dolce & Gabbana, Bovan has trained his canny hands on archival pieces for a co-branded capsule collection debuting at the show for which he revisited signature styles that “are very important to Dolce’s history.”
The joint effort gave Bovan the opportunity to work in a design studio, which he is not used to, handling most of the operations on his own.