Photography Mitchell Sams

Matty Bovan AW20 pushed the limits of wearability

Clothes to make an entrance in.

by Felix Petty
15 February 2020, 11:53am

Photography Mitchell Sams

Matty Bovan’s collection this season was very literally about fashion. Making an entrance (or an exit), the distortion of the body, the structure of the silhouette, the way we carry ourselves. It was, as usual, a joyful collage of a thousand pieces.

Everything seemed to morph into something else; the body into the clothes, the clothes into the environment, the limit of wearability pushing at desirability (where does one wear a huge, expanse of pink wool dress riven across with a flagpole?). It was all Matty at his least literal, most perplexing, most fun and fantastical and theatrical -- it is hard to know quite where to start. “It was very spiritual,” he offered. “It’s about a loss of naivety, about celebration, about being in the world.” It was less about politics, about more purely about fashion.

Everything started at the head, with Matty’s continued collaboration with milliner Stephen Jones and hairdresser Syd Hayes. First came giant, enormous, wigs, courtesy of Syd, a few feet across, dangling down in folds like curtains. Then, to close out the show, model’s carried their own stages with them, dangling hair reimagined as curtains created by Stephen. “Stephen and I were talking about the collection, and I was saying everything had these long lines and it was very structured, that it would be nice to bring it up above the shoulder line... Stephen is amazing at taking a concept and really bringing it into something amazing.”

“The whole idea of the collection was exploring things taken out of context; is it a hat, is it a drape, is it part of a dress, is it a curtain?” Off World Aesthetic Exit, he titled it, a nod to exiting the EU, which formed the thematic spine of last season, but also, more personally it was about something more global, or at least out of this world, de-rooting himself from an Englishness that can define you as a designer.

It's moving on from last season, “which was very round and very soft,” he says. “It's important to challenge the silhouette of the body, to challenge what people think is acceptable and not acceptable. I think it's my job to push people's barriers of taste.”

matty bovan aw20
Matty Bovan AW20 pushes the limits of wearability
Matty Bovan AW20
Matty Bovan
Matty Bovan AW20
Matty Bovan AW20


Photography Mitchell Sams

London Fashion Week
matty bovan