Fashion’s latest star dazzles on the catwalk – and he’s from York

Backstage at Matty's graduate show
23 Feb 2015 @ 8.01 pm
| Fashion
Behind the scenes at the show as models prepare to hit the catwalk in Matty’s collection

The world of fashion has a new star – and he’s from York.

Matty Bovan has garnered rave reviews for his graduate MA show at the University Of The Arts London.

Matty, a 24-year-old graduate of Central St Martins, unveiled his breathtakingly daring designs at the weekend.

They were greeted with ecstatic applause at the Somerset House show. Described as “jaw-dropping” by one influential critic, other big names in the fashion industry queued up to heap praise on the modest former York College student.

Matty’s 12-outfit collection earned him and his long-time student friend Beth Postle the top accolade of the L’Oreal Professional Creative Award – and a £5,000 cash prize to share between them.

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Some of Matty’s creations from the show. Photographs courtesy of Central St Martins. Click to see a bigger image

Fashion experts lined up to acclaim Matty’s work.

Nick Remsen, of said:

Bovan’s efforts consisted of what can only be called beautiful cutting-room detritus, whorls of fabric swerving around the body in Lurex, ultra-wide fishnet knits, even velvet. It looked chaotic but it was exactingly rendered; the perfect, if you will, fashion storm.

Maya Singer of

Jaw-dropping knitwear looks designed by Matty Bovan…

Bovan is a major talent: his sculptural knit dresses were sui generis [unique], wrapping around the body with a dancelike flow, and sprouting cobwebs of crochet and jewellery embellishments in a variety of materials. Keep an eye out for him.

Ashleigh Kane, of

Knitwear graduate Matty Bovan aimed high with 12 looks. His models looked like they’d been double dipped in a claw machine at the arcade before being rolled through an arts and crafts box, in an explosion of plastic, glitter, clashing colour, prickly tinsel and knitted trinkets that swayed as they walked.

Burnt orange velvet was paired with white vinyl leg warmers, cutaways, wiring and ripped yarns. But behind all the hype that the collection commanded, lay some intricately crafted knitwear, which didn’t go unnoticed.

Dazzling start

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Two more of Matty’s amazing outfits. Photographs courtesy of Central St Martins. Click to see a bigger image

The event was the high point of an already dazzling early career that has seen Matty inspired by the early work of Vivienne Westwood and Zandra Rhodes, later making knitwear creations in the garden shed of his family home near The Mount, York.

It progressed via student placements with John Galliano in Paris and Diane von Furstenberg in New York.

“Those were important learning experiences for me. They really helped me get some idea about how the business side of fashion works,” Matty told YorkMix.

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Behind the scenes at the show; and Matty himself, from his Facebook profile (Photograph: Willy Vanderperre). Click to see a bigger image

He admitted to an extreme attack of pre-show nerves at the weekend. “It was so stressful, I found myself in tears, really crying, and I never cry.

“It was a long day, and the rehearsal run-through was worrying. One of my models tripped and stumbled and I had to remake her shoe at the last minute.

“It was an incredible relief when it was all over. I didn’t learn about the prize until the very last minute.”

What does the future hold for Matty?

I now have to build up my reputation. I’m hoping to be able to work on unique one-off pieces. Statement pieces really. But it’s hard to get commissions of that kind. I also want to make ready-to-wear pieces.

I’m still classed as a ‘knitwear designer’ even though I use many different fabrics now. Underlying everything is knitwear.

And his share of that £5,000 prize? The answer reveals that, even if Matty is floating on air right now, his feet are firmly planted on the ground: “I’m putting it towards the future!”