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Like hurt puppies and drunk Tinder swipers, fashion needs some self-protection right now. That feels especially true in London, where Brexit is more on-again-off-again than a Bachelor in Paradise romance, and environmental protests are hardcore, sincere, and—in the face of the climate crisis—impossible to discount.
Into the storm rides Matty Bovan, the 27-year-old wonder boy whose soft, sculpted creations have won industry fans like super stylist Katie Grand and model-activist Adwoa Aboah. And after revamping C0ach logo bags and going deep into the Liberty London archive, he’s created a collection that’s part streetwear and part bonkers, inspired by industrial uniforms but padded like an asylum cell to keep our fragile state intact.
There’s a “weird floral tube”—that’s an exact quote from his notes—that looks like a Laura Ashley version of a doggie cone. There’s a “perplexing bolster” on model Meghan Roche that looks like she’s shoplifting Ikea futons in a hoop skirt, as if she needs to carry her own house on her back like a snail. And there are massive magnifying screens in front of some girls’ faces, the exact size and shape of an iPad, that are half shield and half filter, as if the future needs to be distorted and gamified before we can handle it.
What’s crazier than the crazy clothes: a lot of this collection elevates trends we already love. Bovan’s taken the prairie dress and seamed it with panels that look like traffic cones. He’s got origami track suits that zip up the knee and probably make Adidas very jealous. He’s even slashed a pair of sweatpants, flipped them upside-down, and turned them into a damn cute pencil skirt with a high, cinched slit.
These looks are joyfully amazing and deeply disturbing, and considering them in the context of a broken world is frankly exhausting. But though the apocalypse undertones were eerie, this Friday the 13th, we felt lucky to be there.