Behind the curtain at the designer's exuberant London runway show.

Last December, in an interview with Frieze Magazine, York-native designer Matty Bovan gave this advice to aspiring fashioners: “If you stick to your guns and really believe in what you do, I think you almost unlock a different way of working because it’s a bit more fearless.” At the time Bovan was working on his Fall 2020 collection, which embodies his statements and then some. Simply put, the pieces on display are fearless in their intricate layering, maximalist headdresses, and range of references. Kaleidoscopic in its presentation, it’s hard to gather your bearings from model to model. The connections between looks are disparate—a hallmark of Bovan’s collections—but all work in service of the designer’s core virtue of experimentation.

Garments overlap at will, forming angular paths for the eye to follow. Each model dons bright, encircling eye makeup, the clearest demonstration of formal unity. Rhinestones litter sweaters, skirts, and gloves alike, scattershot but striking. Perhaps most notably, several models wore panniers and were framed by tall headdresses that formed a proscenium complete with full-length curtains. More content than form, Bovan is speaking in code, one that’s a joy to try and decipher.

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