Matty Bovan, fall 2020 – text by Silvia Bombardini

Dear Shaded Viewers and Diane,


‘To explore the negative spaces around the body’, and at once ‘to represent an out-of-body experience’ were according to the show notes, but some of Matty Bovan’s intentions with his fall 2020 collection and Valentine Day’s show. The distinction between fashion and architecture is a matter of dimensions, and upon those dimensions these looks play. But if an interest in the common ground between our clothes and the built environment could lead one to explore, in silhouettes and textures, the quest for protection which these design fields both arise from and rely upon, this designer already has made a name for himself by working against assumptions. These wearable refuges, though solid, are deconstructed, windswept. There’s a reference to violent, destructive outside forces, either elemental or political in nature. Yet his muse, the wearer, is left standing. What remains of the stage she carries with. She dons ruffles and flounces, silk velvet ripples, opera gloves and gowns with ample, cushioned hips: the out-of-proportion proportions of princesses. But she carries, and wears as well, the rawness and chaos of popular insurgence too. The codes of fashion, of main and subculture – pinstripe, upcycled Fiorucci denim – are turned upon themselves and upside down. Off World Aesthetic Exit is Bovan’s as of yet most postmodern work. Yet for all the meaning it loses, it’s momentum that it gains. Matty Bovan warps and drapes with his gut. This collection speaks to a generation whose rag has been pulled from beneath their feet. Bovan turns it into a frayed full gown. Literally so – there were looks in the show crafted from deadstock London public transport moquette. This all speaks to them. What it says, like most things these days, is open to interpretation.