For his first in-person presentation in over two years, Matty Bovan pulled out all the stops – enlisting Irina Shayk to model his designs at The Crypt in St Martin-in-the-Fields on February 18. bang, the Russian model stormed the Bovan runway near Trafalgar Square in a scarlet puffball dress – Storm Eunice be damned – before switching to a gingham patchwork for an epic finale.
The inspiration behind the collection? “The idea of America, a fever dream,” according to detailed notes Bovan gave to attendees. “Growing up, my access to pop culture was heavily influenced by America, with high school TV shows, American baseball, pep rallies and cheerleading, which were always so exciting, yet so far,” he wrote.
Instead of offering more clichéd nods to John Hughes films, the Yorkshire-born creator decamped to the Mark Twain Library Archives in Redding, Connecticut, where he spent months researching the art popular for her fall/winter 2022 collection. On her moodboard during design? Photos of the intricate craft traditions of the Pennsylvania Dutch community, especially the hexagon signs, as well as a myriad of American quilts.
In practice, this translated into lacy American flags, dazzling star-studded capes, and luxurious knitted wools printed with Bovan’s own Polaroids from his “two months in deepest Connecticut” parading the catwalk. If Laura Ingalls Wilder walked through the looking glass and then decided to go to a cheering rally, that’s what she’d be wearing – and I say that as the highest compliment.