Fashion East Spring/Summer 2017 LFW: A.V.Robertson + Matty Bovan
Jumping across the pond, Fashion East is a non-profit initiative set up by Lulu Kennedy and the Old Truman Brewery in 2000 to support emerging British talent, and it kicks off the start of London Fashion Week. Fashion East continues to receive invaluable financial support from the mayor’s office, and serves as a platform to truly elevate young, fresh designers to the next level.
For Spring/Summer 2017, we at Satellite Journal will take a look at two of the four designers.
Manchester born A.V.Robertson has developed a love for embellishment at a young age. Covering her own garments in sequins at the age of twelve, the Central Saint Martins graduate is known for her work with crystal embellishments. For A.V.Robertson’s collection this time around, her inspiration stems from her own personal memories and fantasies that she would have as a child.
Day of the Triffids, a sci-fi horror vision of unearthly pods that fall from the blackness of outer space that contaminate the soil they land in served as a backdrop. A tropical paradise gone bad, a landscape of nuclear greens and purples of toxic intensity where plants possess the bodies that they touch and mutate their hosts into new forms translated into wares: vines creeped across separates in vein-like networks that distort and reshape delicate lace onto which they are sewn before sprouting ornate and luminescent, otherworldly growths. Lab coats from the film were reinterpreted with panels displaced and set askew, and waistbands hung like atavistic tails. The seams on organza pieces are rouched to reshape the body, while belts grew around necks as the natural world is turned upside down.
Created entirely from Swarovski crystals, gleaming alien buds spread over every surface until the finale: a fishnet dress that has been entirely consumed by them, representing the ultimate victory of the cosmic spores. The star and moon motifs used in the embellishments were also seen on earrings and sunglasses, which were created in collaboration with Linda Farrow.
Raised in our own New York City, Matty Bovan is a Central Saint Martins 2015 graduate who specializes in knitwear. Having worked under Nicholas Ghesquière at Louis Vuiton, the young designer decided to venture out on his own to produce his own collection under his name for the first time this season at Fashion East. Every look was pieced together by Bovan himself on his own body. A rule-breaker, Bovan pushed to the side conventional standards: vinyl, velour and diamanté synthetics in a sick rainbow of wildly unnatural and offensively saturated tones were all seen on the runway.
Bovan shredded and knitted his knitwear, and also crocheted and wove it like raffia with reflective tape and plastic, and used it for fat embroideries or to fringe tassel-like boob tubes. Surfaces are hand-painted by Bovan by using acrylic, spray cans, nail varnish and puffy paint. One thing that can’t be ignored were the prints, which are larger-than-life and were executed by hand to celebrate the glory of the haphazard in a world of digital perfection. These various elements were then piled together in excessive, intensely contrasting combinations where the bright colors are given a meaner, rougher aesthetic: there’s a darkness in the Day-Glo. Bovan’s love of ancient folkloric signs and symbols was present throughout the collection, from his logo – a four-legged creature of indeterminate origin that might have been scratched on a cave wall or a bus shelter, to his high-tech, stone-age accessories, to his big, shaggy, heavily decorated coats: vestments for shamanistic rituals in an age of plastic. Tying in the looks was the inclusion of accessories, including hand-customized bags by Coach and sunglasses by Linda Farrow. Although this collection had only female models, Bovan’s pieces are meant to be worn by anyone and everyone.