“I’ve always taken a lot of inspiration from the art world, it’s just so part of the DNA – but this season it’s all abstracted,” says Matty Bovan about his Spring/Summer 2019 collection, supported by the BFC NEWGEN bursary, which showcased this evening at London Fashion Week.

Alongside presenting two kaleidoscopic collections a year that continue to traipse between the blurred boundaries of fashion and art (although Matty will be the first to affirm that they’re “fundamentally separate things”), the Leeds-born-and-based designer has also mastered the fine art of juggling. Working with artists Adam Leach and Rory Mullen – in tandem with pre-Fashion Week madness – just two weeks ago, Bovan unveiled a special collaboration, JUST/UNJUST, which represented Leeds in the London Design Biennale 2018 at Somerset House.

“The theme is emotional states,” he explained, “so I started with very extreme, intense emotions: anger, hate, and love. I went to Burton Agnes Hall in North Yorkshire, and they had this amazing Elizabethan wall carving with a skeleton dancing and stamping on the earthly kind of sins with the ‘just’ on one side and the ‘unjust’ on the other, and that led me down the path of dark folklore. 

It’s a unique crossover where fashion and art do actually exist, and it doesn’t feel like it’s trying to be anything else. It is a collaboration. It couldn’t just be my clothes. It’s more exciting for me, because I love working in that way!”

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Photography credit Ed Reeve. 

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