Yorkshire designer Matty Bovan is to show at Milan Fashion Week with a little help from Dolce and Gabbana

The York-based designer and Leeds Beckett University professor Matty Bovan is to make his catwalk debut at Milan Fashion Week with the support (and glorious fabrics) of the legendary design duo. Stephanie Smith reports.

Matty Bovan - the ground-breaking young British fashion designer who surprised the industry when he moved back to his native Yorkshire from London - is to make his debut at Milan Fashion Week, with the help of legendary design duo Dolce & Gabbana.

Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana announced their support of Bovan this week, noting that his design aesthetic resonates strongly with the creativity of Dolce & Gabbana, which is supplying him with fabrics and materials. Bovan is working alongside the fashion house's style office on a new collection, which will be presented during Milan Fashion Week in September.

“Craft and handiwork are at the heart of my work, something that myself and this iconic maison have great affinity with,” said Bovan. “The synergy upon meeting Domenico and Stefano recently was palpable.

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    Stefano Gabbana, Matty Bovan, and Domenico Dolce at Dolce&Gabbana HQ last week in Milan.

    “I’m still processing the idea that I am going to be exploring their archives and mixing their historic work with my new output for next spring. I’m already feeling the turbo charge of this alliance.”

    Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana said: "The colours, proportions and energy of Matty Bovan's work reveal the tremendous research and creative process behind each piece. We immediately had a special understanding with him; we are happy to be able to support Matty and the poetry of his vision.”

    Bovan, 32, who has just been appointed Professor of Fashion for Leeds School of Arts at Leeds Beckett University, grew up in York and went to Millthorpe School, then at 16 to York College, followed by a foundation at Leeds Beckett University, and a BA and an MA at Central Saint Martins. He moved back to his home city after graduating in 2015. His graduate collection, showcasing his signature cacophony of sculptural knits and other textures with quirky handmade adornments, earned him the L’Oréal Professionnel Creative Award, followed by the LVMH Graduate Prize, going on to work with Marc Jacobs and Miu Miu.

    Last year he won a double Woolmark International award and was praised by judges for his technically advanced jacquard weave designs, strong colour combinations and sustainable approach, working with local suppliers and manufacturers, including using roll end cloth from AW Hainsworth. He scouts his local York shops and markets for materials including vintage buttons.

    Irina Shayk on the Matty Bovan catwalk in February.

    Bovan’s parents, Plum and Nick Bovan, have been his constant support and his late grandmother, Joan, introduced him to knitting. He cites The Hepworth, and Leeds Art Gallery as favourite sources of inspiration.

    The Matty Bovan Autumn/Winter 2022 collection Cyclone was his biggest to date, with his London Fashion Week show opened by model Irina Shayk in a repurposed Roksanda Ilincic voluminous gown.

    His Spring/Summer 2022 collection was called Hypercraft, and the presentation video featured models Adhel Bol, Edwina Preston, Erin O’Connor, Rosemary Ferguson and Yili Liu in scenes inspired by 1970s’ domesticity, featuring TV static, string art, knitted chevrons and family photos.

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