Dolce & Gabbana Helps Matty Bovan Take Maximalist Designs to Milan – WWD

MILAN — Matty Bovan’s avant-garde maximalism moves to Milan this season, and he’s all about 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 really an exciting opportunity for me,” Bovan told WWD 4pm BST from Yorkshire, UK, a few days before the show, which is scheduled for September 25. The show is supported by Dolce & Gabbana as part of a mentorship program launched last February, inviting young names to Milan Fashion Week and providing them with fabrics and materials.

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

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A 2015 graduate of Central Saint Martins with an MA in Fashion Knitwear, his graduate collection earned him the L’Oréal Professionel Creative Award, followed by the prestigious €10,000 LVMH Graduate Prize and a junior designer internship at Louis Vuitton Nicolas Ghesquiere.

A self-portrait by Matty Bovan.

Courtesy of Matty Bovan

In 2021, the designer took home the Woolmark award, recognizing his mastery of knitwear design, which Bovan sees as his strongest connection to Italian fashion.

“Italy is the knitwear capital of the world, so I do have some affinity with the Italians’ love of texture and colour,” he said.

“It’s really exciting for me, who may be a bit rebellious about how I do the craft, [I’m] a turn on its head [type] something that I think is the point of someone in my position anyway, to challenge people’s expectations, people’s tastes and knowledge, 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 print on silk.’ In many ways, that’s my role, challenging and pushing the status quo,” he added.

Building on his fall 2022 creative vision of “chaos and destruction,” the spring lineup marks an evolution he called “controlled chaos” distilled into texture manipulation Bovan called “camouflage.”

Just don’t expect military gear.

“I challenged myself to overlay each texture with something that could meld together, so it was kind of an idea to change through this universe, through the different outfits…. I started out pretty vague and then I was very specific about my fabrics, my textures, from there everything was very controlled in a way,” he said.

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

Courtesy of Matty Bovan

Lurex jacquards mix with Scottish lambswool knitwear, custom prints, hand painting, sequins and hand crochet, all crafted into layered outfits, with structured skirts and exaggerated shoulder lines that push the 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 Matty Bovan collection,” he added.

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

He’s made sure to inject some more commercial pieces, including best-selling t-shirts and sweatshirts, although the experimental approach to fashion still takes center stage.

“I’ve pushed that side a bit more, but to be honest my approach is to create special pieces,” he said. “I think the role of my work is to convey some fantasy and an exaggeration of the everyday world, but there’s a lot of wearable things in the collection.”

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

Giovanni Giannoni for WWD

“When people see my work they think it’s avant-garde, but actually I design with the wardrobe in mind, so I work on pieces that translate into very wearable items. When you see it, it looks very intense and amplified, but… when you break it down, there’s some very wearable stuff,” he noted.

As part of his collaboration with Dolce & Gabbana, Bovan has trained his skilled hands on archival pieces for a co-branded capsule collection debuting on the show, for which he has reworked signature styles that are “very important to Dolce’s history”. .

The combined effort gave Bovan the opportunity to work in a design studio, which he is not used to, and to do most of the operations on his own.

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