Award-Winning Designer Inspires Next Generation In Fashion And Textiles

A York-based designer who is taking the fashion world by storm has inspired the next generation of artists in fashion and textiles at a guest lecture for students from Cleveland College of Art and Design (CCAD).

Matty Bovan, 27, who graduated from Central Saint Martins in 2015 with an MA specialising in Fashion Knitwear and has worked with leading designers such as Marc Jacobs and Miu Miu, met with textile students from the northern art school to talk about his journey from his award-winning graduate collection to designing his own solo catwalk show for London Fashion Week.

Matty talks to CCAD textile and surface design degree students

Matty took the students through his four shows, explaining the detail and inspiration behind every design with back stage footage of the preparation and the live catwalk shows, plus a look behind the shoot for Love Magazine which he was asked to take part in.

The UK’s most exciting up-and-coming designer began with his 12-look graduate collection – exhibiting sculptural knits, textures and wild, handmade adornments – which earned him the L’Oréal Professionel Creative Award, closely followed by the LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton Graduate Prize 2015, for which he received 10,000 Euros and a year’s placement as a Junior Designer at Louis Vuitton.

Top-Shop ShowSpace, Charring Cross Road, London UK. 16th September 2017. Matty Bovan shows his designs as part of the Fashion East Spring Summer 2018 Catwalk Show. © Chris Yates

Students took further inspiration from Matty’s experiences, including when he was invited to do some research for Marc Jacobs in New York, resulting in a collage of his illustrative work in collaboration with fellow designer Amie Robertson, decorating a dedicated segment of Marc Jacobs Spring/Summer 2016 Collection. Matty also starred in the Marc Jacobs Spring/Summer 2016 Campaign, shot by David Sims, appearing alongside: Sky Ferreira, Emily Ratajkowski, and Jamie Bochert, amongst others.

Matty recently held his first solo show (AW2018) at London Fashion Week to critical acclaim, having shown three times previously under the Fashion East umbrella.

With his love of Lurex, velour and many other tactile materials, Matty enthused the textile students on finding their own style as a designer and gave them a wealth of advice on getting into the fashion industry, becoming a designer and finding inspiration.

Top-Shop ShowSpace, Charring Cross Road, London UK. 16th September 2017. Matty Bovan shows his designs as part of the Fashion East Spring Summer 2018 Catwalk Show. © Chris Yates

After getting the chance to show Marc Jacobs his portfolio, Matty encouraged the students to keep their portfolios up to date as they can be viewed by anyone! He also advised the students to keep drawing as much as possible, to consider using inexpensive materials and turn them into fashionable designs, to highlight the movement of designs through the use of video as well as photography for their portfolio and to keep self-doubt at bay as shows always come together at the last minute.

After the lecture, Matty took the time to answer student questions on working to tight deadlines, which he says does get easier with time and why he continues to draw during quieter periods so it become easier for the quick turnaround of live briefs. Also researching for inspiration and new ideas, Matty draws on the library for Central Saint Martins, as well as building up his own library of books, visits to charity stores for vintage clothing and his love of Boyes stores!

Suzanne Treacy, 52, from Morpeth, is on the second year of her Textiles and Surface Design degree. The student, who also resides part time in Hartlepool, said: “Attending Matty’s talk was certainly time well spent.  What an inspiration he is!  His use of cheap materials demonstrates that you can make anything look incredible if you use them in innovative ways.  Matty incorporates materials that were not necessarily designed for the purposes for which he uses them and it’s his outside the box thinking that makes his work unique.  He has collaborated with some really interesting people and created some amazing work as a result.  I came away from his talk with some great ideas.

“It’s impressive that Matty has done so much since graduating and it’s easy to see how he has made a success of his career already.”

Textile student Suzanne Treacy was inspired by Matty’s lecture

21-year-old Aimee Monkman, from Hartlepool, who is on the final year of her BA (Hons) Contemporary Textile Products degree, said: “Matty’s talk was amazing and I really enjoyed it. I found it beneficial to my work as he is very mixed media textiles-based and this is the subject I specialise in. There was also the opportunity to ask questions and he really give us an idea of what it is like to be in the industry and how fast paced it really is.”

Matty said: “I really enjoyed sharing my thoughts on fashion and textiles to the students, and appreciate CCAD’s ongoing support. I think supporting and inspiring students at this stage in their education is so important, art schools in the north are a vital and fantastic resource and I’m so excited for the talent they are producing.”

Matty is now looking forward to producing his collection next month, which goes on sale in August through leading designer fashion outlet, Matches Fashion. He is also a Senior Contributing Fashion Editor of LOVE Magazine.

Claire Baker, lecturer in textiles at CCAD, said; “We were very lucky to have Matty here, he is a great speaker – very articulate and exciting! His expressive use of textiles truly stands him apart. A few of our students and graduates did some prints with Matty for his February show at London Fashion week and they were delighted to see their results incorporated into a catwalk garment.”

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