Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Matthew Miller x Oliver Sweeney AW12

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Ever since, Matthew Miller first came to my attention with his standout RCA MA graduate collection from the class of 2009, we have kept a close on Miller's continued development and rise to prominence. Miller's work focuses on the human body, its relativity to technology in a brave new digital world. His signature aesthetic mixes tailoring and sportswear with intricate textile decoration. I've been drawn to his well crafted world for a number of years now and after capturing the collective imagination with his AW11 presentation, his addition to the show lineup marked a much deserved step forward for the design talent. A step the design talent took in his stride, so much so that tomorrow sees the design talent showcase his AW12 collection in his first standalone show inside the Portico Rooms. The highly anticipated show will see the unveiling of a surprising collaboration with Oliver Sweeney. Just last week we mentioned that in the tumultuous seas of spurious, pointless and head scratchily strange collaborations, a coming together that works on more than a mere press perspective are most rare. Well, we've found another example of how a collaboration should be. The considered range plays on the differences and strengths of both brands. It pairs one of London's most exciting design talents with an artisan brand that has crafted shoes for over twenty years. For me, it pairs the familiar (Miller) with the relatively unfamiliar (Oliver Sweeney) and the results are just beautiful.

Now, before we show you the fruits of the collaboration we have to offer a little insight in to the driving inspiration behind Matthew Miller's entire collection. AW12 evolved from a single expedition. Rather than travel from a to b and ignore his environment like so many of us do, Miller looked about him and focused in on key changes in his environment. Starting from the centre of London and travelling through to to Epping, the design talent noted the unique surfaces surrounding us. Under the magnifying glass of the designer's eye, these snapshots evolved in to digital prints. Prepare to be dazzled...


Here the prints are applied to Oliver Sweeney's high grade leather thanks to their English digital print specialist, but only once they had been resized to create a finish that would display the minute details of each environment it portrayed. Given Miller's (almost) obsessive attention to detail, it should come as little surprise that each shoe is accompanied by the exact co-ordinates of it geographical and digital location and in line with the theme of the collection, contains interactive features to enable the wearer to locate the origins of and inspirations behind each item. As much detail has been paid to the finish of each pair. Based on an English made Itshide Commando sole, with shearling fur lining and Blake stitch construction, each design is named after the location from which the print derives...


City Erosion



(These shots are some of the best press shots I've seen)

Now, on the eve of their unveiling I borrowed a selection from the creative coming together and shot them in my own environment. From the courtyard of my flat, the fruits of the collaboration allowed me to take the same journey through London that so inspired Matthew Miller...

A selection of detail shots

Now, if the above sneak peek at this hugely successful collaboration has not whet your appetite for Menswear Day, there really is no hope for you. Roll on tomorrow...


Matthew Spade said...

fantastic! really looking forward to tomorrow, even if it is from my front room

Nicole said...

Digital printing is amazing, and this work is incredible!
Thank you for posting!

Labella Luxe said...

Fantastic shoes! I wish there were some like that for women!

Unknown said...

These shoes are so gorgeous! Where can I get a pair?


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