If Matty Bovan's last collection was apocalyptic, the latest SS19 collection was the stage on which the natural world slowly began to reclaim the post-apocalyptic landscape. From the first look, featuring a deconstructed gown of netting, crinoline and a precariously towering floral headpiece, foliage and creeping vines were woven into the fabric of the collection and the psyches of those watching from the darkness.
Inspired by the back garden of his childhood suburban Yorkshire home and the point where rolling hills and moors clashed with the urban sprawl, one felt the full force of his creative vision in a masterful display of mixed fabrics and media. From hand crocheted flowers adorning further striking gowns sprouting tufts of dark greens, purples, yellows and blacks, to screen-printed figure-hugging dresses belted around the chest with gypsy-esque bikini tops, there was something carnivalesque about the clash of colours, textures and silhouettes. The increasingly eccentric and whimsical headpieces featuring everything from toilet plungers to plates of sushi recalled some sort of mad hatters tea party and the imaginative games of childhood summers.
However, this collection did not succumb to nostalgia. Models with intricately dyed hair reminiscent of The Man Who Fell to Earth that matched a gorgeous array of laced ankle boots and canary yellow cuban-heeled highwayman's boots designed by Gina kept driving this energetic collection forward.
In a time when the London Fashion Scene, mirroring the wider socio-political climate has been through something of a crisis, one felt a glimmer of hope. A message that the natural world, that beauty, inspiration and creativity would reclaim a scene that had become a slave to social media and plagued by plastic influencers. This collection was subversive, but subversive for being beautiful, natural and expressive.
In the words of the late, great Leonard Cohen, "there is a crack in everything, that's how the light gets in".
Words: Mitchell Kirkham-Cooper| Writer
Images: Eloise Peachey | Fashion Week Photographer | @eloisepeacheyphoto