Dear Shaded Viewers and Diane,
We may think of crochet as innocuous and dowdy, but let us not be misled – surely this wasn’t always the case. A labour of ritual and discipline along with plenty other homespun techniques, it had once been a specialty of the utopian movement preaching a return to the land, the desert, in response to the toxic corporate corruption of our urban economies. A promising intent that went all kinds of wrong, e.g., see the laborious embroideries of the Manson Family. But a few decades down the line and post-apocalyptic ranches or post-Silicon Valley kibbutzim could be well on their way to come around again, prompted by a newfound disillusionment with life as we know it. Matty Bovan’s sophomore Fashion East collection, a case in point, revives all of their tribal and mystical spirit – wilful endurance in the aftermath of violence. Hairy collages of roughened wools, boil-washed and torn, are composed with fortuitous elegance, earthy and Westwood-esque. Sandy lurex knits riddled with holes come patched up with Bovan Corporation coaster-patches, and more mismatched patterns in rectangular modules are handstitched next to one another – argyle by chequerboard, and a dark green acrylic that compulsively flowers in soft pink lambswool buds. But fear no hippie renaissance just yet: a survivalist rationale is how Matty Bovan’s cult was able to get this far. There are hiking boots and mountaineering cord and industrial buckles, yet they have nothing on one-off talismans made out of driftwood and bits of chandelier. It’s said that a surge of interest in the field of witchcraft comes as a consequence of the latest feminist wave, which also stems from our unwillingness to reconcile with injustice. It’s a sentiment as old as the world: a black and white standout print replicates 14th-century woodcuts of witches, dragons and devils for the season to come.