We’ve followed Matthew Miller on KatieChutzpah.com since his early collections, from sparse, minimal sportswear (pre-empting the likes of Cottweiler) through engineered prints to the more mature, tailored stride that the Royal College of Art graduate has recently hit.
Perhaps one of London’s most politicised designers, Miller thankfully eschews the polemics and manifestos of, say Vivienne Westwood, preferring a sly subversion of wardrobe staples, immaculately executed, but with subtextual depth – usually the crushing conformity which torments younger generations, snuffing out creativity.
For Autumn/Winter 2016 Miller explores the intellectual theft of his contemporaries, the lack of new ideas (a concept regular readers of my reviews will be au fait with). This translates into the usual selection of slick outerwear, the perfect Perfecto, possibly the most covetable shearling aviator jacket of the season, and some transparently striped separates; the considered layering of the styling evocative of Shakespearean heroes such as Hamlet.
The skull which appears on some of the printed pieces, frayed at the edges as if torn straight out of a picture frame, could be likened to Hamlet’s unfortunate court jester friend, Yorick, but is in fact an element of fellow 16th century artist Caravaggio’s painting ‘Saint Jerome Writing’. It’s thought that in the painting, Saint Jerome is translating the Vulgate, an early version of the Bible, the message being that every generation has its own version of exactly the same values and beliefs.
So, the more things change, the more they stay the same? Not so with Matthew Miller, as each new collection shows him developing into one of London’s more sophisticated and nuanced menswear designers.
Review written by Lee Clatworthy (@bombfashion) exclusively for www.katiechutzpah.com
Catwalk imagery used by kind permission of www.vogue.com