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runway decoded

Matty Bovan’s distorted dystopia

A love letter to quintessentially British rebellion - read BURO.'s verdict on Matty Bovan's SS20 catwalk


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The mood

Incase you needed a reminder of why London is at the epicentre of fashion creativity, just look to Matty Bovan. Ever pushing boundaries, the York-based designer faces the future with part ‘hope and fear’ (the title of the collection) for SS20. It’s time to unleash your inner survivalist; deconstructed utility-wear was underlying the collection, with a dosage of the designer’s signature sci-fi flair. Films he loves such as Blade Runner, Mad Max, Alien often come up as references. Pushing the post-apocalyptic trend, the Central Saint Martins alumni sent a riot of colour and volume down the runway, which featured a mix of almost restricted looks to open - referencing hospital garms, pressure suits and workman jackets - graduating to opulent parachute-style ball gowns and wearable art. It’s clear Matty is the master of hybrid, otherworldly garments and going all out on exaggerated proportions obscuring the body. One moment that had us both confused and exhilarated was a piece resembling a haute neck brace...or, um, a lampshade. We’re here for it. In stark contrast to some of the more supersized looks, the beauty vibe was more pared back, with most models opting for slick, tight ponytails. Elsewhere, The Arts and Crafts movement was another inspiration for the designer, referenced in mattress-like forms a la Tracey Emin to William Morris colourways and Liberty Fabrics. ‘Rather than allude to a variety of historic themes, this season I’ve brought in very specific elements from the real world,’ Matty explains. ‘Working from a single, distinct starting point – the clean functionality of uniform – also marks a departure from how I’ve gone about this before. Then I began looking at Charleston, Vanessa Bell’s country home. Bringing those Arts and Crafts aesthetics to functional shapes allows each to subvert the other.’

Stand out looks

Victorian puff-sleeve jackets and futuristic Edwardian dresses.


Anna Wintour, Susie Lau, Edward Enninful and Daisy Lowe.

BTS Instagram follow

Music producer Steve Mackey - @steve__mackey.

The BURO. verdict

Matty’s patchwork-heavy designs never fail to satisfy my craving ‘more is more’ avant-garde - he celebrates fashion’s power to be rebellious, fun, nostalgic and futuristic all at once; imbued with rich texture details, Victorian silhouettes and sci-fi accents. Perhaps NSFW (Not Suitable For Work), of course, but for those who want to inject more drama into their wardrobe? It is utterly perfect.” - Emma Firth, Features Editor












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