Monday, 14 December 2009

Style Salvage Speaks to... Matthew Miller

As we all know by now the RCA's MA graduate show is one of the best (and most exciting) places to discover the fashion stars of the future. Back in June, we found such a star in Matthew Miller. Now we are reminded of his promising design talent with the release of his impressive look book, styled by Elliott James Sainsbury and shot by Junichi Kikuchi. In his standout graduate collection, Miller explored notions of masculinity with a somewhat jovial approach to the macabre. The collection saw him balance sharp tailoring and menswear staples with humour as he experimented with laser cut polka dot bombs, dancing skeleton pique bibs, cute cable knitted skulls, to name but a few interesting details. To mark the release of his look book we caught up with the recent graduate to talk about his time at the RCA and his hopes for the future.


Style Salvage: Describe the moment when you realized you wanted to be a menswear designer...
Matthew Miller: It was at school. I grew up on a council estate, and went to a school several miles away, it soon occurred to me that most of the children were from much wealthier backgrounds. They wore a lot of Stone Island C.P Company, and Armani. I fell in love with all things I didn’t have, and lust drove me to become a designer.

SS: What attracted you to the RCA MA course?
Matthew Miller: The RCA offers the only MA course in the World that specifically focuses on menswear design. And they produce an incredibly high level of design. You only have to look at London fashion week’s MAN and the new menswear NEWGEN designers to see this.

SS: What was the best thing about your course? And the worst?
Matthew Miller: The best: the people. The worst: the people.

SS: Aside from your own, which graduate collections did you love?
Matthew Miller: I really loved Mason Jung’s, Jae Wan Park’s, and Louise Loubatieres' knits were super lux!

SS: Now on your marvelous collection. Your main inspiration came from a conversation in the Reginald Mitchell public house between two friends preparing for war. How did you come to hear this conversation?
Matthew Miller: I came to hear the conversation as they were my friends, I was having a goodbye drink with them, as they were leaving on a six month tour.


SS: It really was one of our favourite graduate collections (we refer you back to this post and this post) as it explores notions of masculinity with a somewhat jovial approach to the macabre. Talk us through it in your own words...
Matthew Miller: The collection is very British, in the sense that it is Irony in the form of Garments. The whole collection was supposed to look fun, and that’s what comes across, but upon closer inspection, you can see all the fun elements are either symbols of war or death, just like my friends passing joke about the fact that we’ll never see each other again, it’s a joke, but when you think about it, it’s incredibly dark.

SS: It looks as though you had a lot of fun making this collection, what was your highlight and what were you most proud to see walk down the catwalk?
Matthew Miller: The collection was incredibly fun to make, I experimented with lasers on fabric, which I found amazing and a lot of that will continue through to the next collection. And my favourite? Probably the dancing skeleton bib shirt, it bounced down the runway perfectly.

SS: What advice would you give a prospective menswear fashion student?
Matthew Miller: Advice? Daydream!

SS: If you could go back in time and experience any fashion moment, what would it be?
Matthew Miller: Perfect Moment? The Mods and Rocker era of the Sixties, fast women stylish bikes and amazing suits. What more could a man ask for?


SS: What item of clothing (if any) do you wish that more men wore?
Matthew Miller: Menswear fashion is moving forward rapidly and men seem to be embracing their new found fashion freedom

SS: Which designers currently working do you admire most?
Matthew Miller: I love the tailoring of Dries Van Noten, it’s incredibly sharp, but I also enjoy the humorous side, of fashion from the likes of Bernhard Willhelm and I love Raf of course.

SS: What would you like to achieve in 2010 and beyond?
Matthew Miller: For 2010 and beyond I hope to have my own studio as well as several stockists for my new project, that will be unveiled to all in February.

SS: What's the one question you wish people asked you but you've never had the opportunity to answer? (and what is the answer)
Matthew Miller: The question: would you like some money? The answer: fuck yes!

SS: Finally, would you be able to share a few address book recommendation to our readers (hairdressers, tailors, cafes... anything you like really) which we will duly add to our Map.
Matthew Miller: My Recommendations are firstly, for a fine cheese, a gentleman can not go wrong with La Cave a Fromage in the Lovely south Kensington, and a wine to accompany the fine cheese, can be found in Tesco, Hackney, and to get to Hackney I recommend the number 38 bus, as it’s full of interesting and beautiful people. The final thing I can recommend is dinner at my house, and everyone is invited.

4 comments:

wecouldgrowup2gether said...

oh my, just look at those glasses!

Giancinephile said...

Always good to hear about new talents in the menswear arena.

I do hope Miller gets a certain number of stockists!

Collective Consciousness said...

I like lot, it's good to see a step away from, the androgynous other stuff...

Please comment:
http://collecti-con.blogspot.com/

Dean said...

amazing! future of fashion & sounding

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