Matty Bovan on the Future of Fashion: "Create Your Own Vision of the World"

Matty Bovan on the Future of Fashion: "Create Your Own Vision of the World"

Matty Bovan on the Future of Fashion: "Create Your Own Vision of the World"

Mandi Lennard catches up with the wild knit genius at his new Shoreditch studio on the eve of his Fashion East debut.

Mandi Lennard catches up with the wild knit genius at his new Shoreditch studio on the eve of his Fashion East debut.


Matty Bovan is Fashion East’s sole newcomer at the collective's Spring 2017 group show during London Fashion Week's TOPSHOP space in Spitalfields this weekend. Since graduating in 2015 from Central Saint Martins with an MA specializing in Fashion Knitwear, Bovan has found himself at the center of the fashion sphere. He won the 2015 LVMH Graduate Prize (part of which was a Junior Designer role at Louis Vuitton under Nicholas Ghesquière). Katie Grand invited him to work with Marc Jacobs on his Spring 2016 collection in New York, where he decorated a dedicated segment of the show, then modeled alongside Sky Ferreira, Emily Ratajkowski, and others in the collection's advertising campaign. He topped it all off with a stint at Paris Couture Fashion Week where he customized all the mannequins at the Miu Miu Resort 2017 presentation.

Read our interview with Bovan below, where the wild knit genius opens up about the sage advice he was given by the late Louise Wilson, and how he’s elevating his personal wardrobe to the next level.

Self-Portrait by Matty Bovan

It seems like you have done so much since graduating, which is unusual for someone who is just entering fashion week—does it feel that way to you?

No not at all, I feel it has all been natural and happened by chance, and I really enjoyed each project.

Do you think it’s good to have gone out and experienced working in different design studios? 

For sure. You gain a lot of perspective, and it enables you to zoom out of your microcosm and see the world for what it is: good and bad. I have been fortunate enough to experience many different aspects of the industry, which I feel I’ve already learnt and grown from.

There was huge buzz around your MA final show; what’s going to be new for your Fashion East outing?

It feels like I’ve poured myself into this collection. I've really tried to push my own personal wardrobe and really elevate it to the next level, and most importantly keep the energy in the collection at 100%.

How do you feel about entering the fashion system at a time when the industry is in so much flux, with Brexit and the whole shift to the 'see now, buy now' model?

I feel it's even more important. With times so bleak politically, I feel having your own viewpoint—even if just a creative output—is incredibly important. When money runs out and people lose hope you have to create your own vision of the world.

What was the whole Central Saint Martin’s experience like for you, having done both your BA and MA there?

I had a great time at CSM. I was lucky enough to be in the Charing Cross Road site for two years and Kings Cross for nearly four, so great to have experienced both. It really felt right when I got there, and I am so grateful for the friends I made. I feel so lucky to have been there. I was lucky to have been taught by Willy Walters and Sarah Gresty on BA who were amazing, and got to experience both Louise Wilson and Fabio Piras on the MA, both of whom I learnt a great deal from and really enjoyed. I am very grateful to all the tutors at CSM.

What advice would you give those about to embark on a similar path? 

I would say go and have a look round the school you want to go to. I went to CSM and met Sarah Gresty and I knew it was the place for me. I would also say stick to your guns, even though it gets hard to a lot of the time, but create your own vision. People love it when you fully immerse yourself and have a point of view.

What’s the best advice you try to follow and who gave you it?

Louise [Wilson] told me to photograph what I wear everyday as a document. It really broke down that wall I had in my head and allowed me to really merge what I was saying and doing unconsciously alongside my research and ideas, and it has been very freeing and I still practice that today.

What’s a typical material combination used in your work?

I love stretch, so Lycra jersey, velour and I love lurex in knit. I also love resin accessories, plastics of any sort, and glitter, but used in a slightly off way.

What’s been the best fashion party you’ve been to so far?

I was recently lucky enough to work with Miu Miu in Paris on their presentation mannequins for three days, and then they had this big party which was super fun.  I drank a bit too much and my feet were bleeding the next day, but it was worth it.

What’s great about York, where you're from?

I love the medieval and Viking aspects, and all the myths and stories it has.

What’s your favorite thing about London?

I love the feel of the different areas and that city feel you get.  It also really feels like my other home; I feel so comfortable and love the energy.

What’s your earliest fashion memory?

Dressing up in my mums old clothes and earrings.


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