What does the future hold for England? Amidst such turbulent times, it’s an exceedingly tricky question to answer. Yet, for SS21, Matty Bovan set out to discover just that.
“Growing up, I had a fascination with British history,” said Bovan in a self-written press statement upon the unveiling of his latest London Fashion Week collection. “For me, this collection is all about questioning my own personal vision of England, and what it means to be English; looking at England’s past, present, and future.”
In place of a runway, this season’s collection, appropriately titled Future.Olde.England (F.O.E), was shot and presented from Bovan’s hometown of York, in the classical surroundings of a 19th-century chapel. Continuing with Bovan’s trademark patchwork, the likes of which has been seen on famous faces that include Björk, Adwoa Aboah and Georgia May Jagger, the collection is a playful mix of knits, denim and florals that draw inspiration from stories of England’s past.
Harkening back to the 16th Century, oversized doublets crafted from baby-blue denim, provided by sustainable denim producer ISKO™, were seen paired with a mishmash of Liberty fabrics in red, pink and green, all sourced from previous seasons’ production. Voluminous sweatshirting that nodded to old-school rugby kits came draped across the body, screen-printed with heraldry shields and finished with reworked jewellery by Plum Bovan, Bovan’s mother.
Skillfully drawn prints that referenced old English myths were designed in collaboration with the New York artist Will Sheldon, who produced two custom pieces of artwork – one based on Puck and one of a dragon – that feature on wrapped flag skirts and a veiled Latex wedding look.
F.O.E is what we’ve come to expect from Bovan. Aside from the rich layering of historical references, the collection provides hopeful insight into the future. One where authentic, slow production reigns supreme and sustainability is fashion’s new normal.