- Text Tempe Nakiska
- Photography Harry Clark
- 11th June 2016
A Study of Clouds
As far as switched on designers go, Matthew Miller is top rung. His collections read like a thought-blueprint, communicating his own ideas about society, politics and youth culture present and past. Picture a Matthew Miller show and you may as well be envisioning the designer deep in thought over the morning’s coffee, mulling our “filthy rich” and culturally vacant generation (last season’s topic of choice). Or solitary cloud gazing, drawing lines between the blue and white sky and the bleached denim of early skinhead culture – as was the starting point for his SS17 show yesterday.
Miller remembered the copy of ’A Study of Clouds’ by British romantic John Constable that decorated the wall of his council house in the early 1980s, re-printing and working it into the collection via a fabric juxtaposition of cotton and linen. (The cloud-covered jacket and trousers are no doubt already plastered across new season wish-lists, London and beyond.)
The atmosphere evolved into the inky hues that Miller is well known for, here worked into a checkerboard motif inspired by Trojan-skinheads. Loose shirting and fluid tailoring made up much of the line up, peaking with a beautiful re-designing of an antique kimono, cardigan and tuxedo, clashing cuts and cultural cues in all the right ways.
And those butterfly badges that pinned their way across model’s chests? A taxidermy-inspired metaphor for the ‘fragility of beauty’. Just like the subcultures that so often act as punctuation in time: transient, and fleeting.