Dolce & Gabbana helps Matty Bovan bring maximalist designs to Milan – WWD

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MILAN — Matty Bovan’s edgy maximalism hits Milan this season and he’s focused on bringing his rebellious spirit to the city’s fashion, traditionally rooted in wearability.

“I’m incredibly excited because I’m so used to London and it’s definitely an exciting opportunity for me,” Bovan told WWD, zooming in from Yorkshire in the UK days before the show, which is scheduled for September 25 at 4:00 p.m. CET. The show is supported by Dolce & Gabbana as part of a mentorship program launched last February which invites young names to Milan Fashion Week and provides them with fabrics and materials.

“When they first contacted me, I came to Milan, I think, in June for their men’s show. I had a meeting with them, they were great and very supportive, they loved my use of color and texture, they told me to do whatever I wanted,” Bovan explained.

A graduate of Central Saint Martins in 2015 with an MA in fashion knitwear, his graduation collection won him the L’Oréal Professionnel Creative Award, followed by the prestigious LVMH Graduate Prize, which included 10,000 euros and a junior designer internship. at Louis Vuitton under the direction of Nicolas Ghesquière.

A self-portrait by Matty Bovan.

Courtesy of Matty Bovan

In 2021, the designer won the Woolmark Prize, attributing his mastery of knit design, considered by Bovan to be his strongest link to Italian fashion.

“Italy is the knitting capital of the world, so I already have a sort of affinity with the Italians’ love of texture and colors,” he explained.

“It’s really exciting for me who may be a little rebellious when it comes to the way I do the job, [I’m] a turn of the head [type] slightly, which I think is the goal of someone in my position anyway, to challenge people’s expectations, their level of taste and what people know, especially young people,” he said. he declares.

“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 print on silk.’ It’s my role in many ways, to challenge the status quo and push it forward,” he 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 called “ camouflage”.

Don’t expect military hardware.

“I challenged myself to cover every texture in something that could blend together, so it was kind of an idea of ​​metamorphosis through this universe, through the different outfits…I started out pretty loosely and then I was very particular about my fabrics, my textures, everything from there was very controlled in a sense,” he said.

A preview of Matty Bovan’s textured fabrics for Spring 2023.

Courtesy of Matty Bovan

Lurex jacquards are to mingle with Scottish lambswool knits, custom prints, hand paint, sequins and hand crochet, all worked in layered outfits, with structured skirts and exaggerated shoulder lines pushing convention on feminine tropes.

“It’s a tour de force,” Bovan said. “It’s very Matty Bovan in a way, but it’s an elevated Matty Bovan collection,” he added.

The trip to Milan is also an opportunity for Bovan to increase the visibility and attractiveness of the brand. “It’s a bonus, really,” he said.

He’s been careful to inject more commercial pieces, including blockbuster t-shirts and sweatshirts, though the experimental fashion approach is still central.

“I kind of pushed that side a bit more, but to be honest, my modus operandi is to create special pieces,” he said. “I believe the role of my work is to provide a bit of whimsy and an exaggeration of the everyday world, but there’s a lot of wearable stuff in the collection.”

Matty Bovan RTW Fall 2022 on February 18, 2022 in London.

Giovanni Giannoni for WWD

“When they see my work, people think it’s edgy, but actually I design with a wardrobe in mind, so I work on pieces that can be turned into very wearable items. When you see, it sounds very intense and amplified but… when you break it down, there’s some very portable stuff,” he noted.

As part of the tie-up with Dolce & Gabbana, Bovan trained his crafty hands on archival pieces for a co-branded capsule collection debuting in the show for which he revisited iconic styles that “are very important to the Dolce’s story”.

The joint effort has allowed Bovan to work within a design studio, which he is not used to, handling most of the operations alone.

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