Must See This Weekend: Matty Bovan at NOW Gallery

Words by
Sphere Editors

6th January 2023

Where does a 32 foot high jumper, craft, colour and sensory overload come together into a fun art and fashion experience like no other? With Matty Bovan’s inspiring show ‘Ribbons’ at the NOW Gallery. If you need a jolt of creative energy to get you through January, we've found it.

Ribbons is a site-specific participatory installation that offers an immersive exploration of the York-based designer’s textile-rich work to the public for the first time.  

The colourfully fabulous designer has been a fixture at London Fashion Week since 2015 when he graduated from St Martin’s School of Art with a degree in knitwear, and was immediately picked up by Marc Jacobs and Miu Miu.

Matty’s career has been unstoppable since. In 2021 he scooped the double honour of the prestigious Woolmark Prize, and it’s Karl Lagerfeld Award for Innovation, the second time  in its history one designer has won both.

Photo: Charles Emerson / Courtesy of NOW Gallery
"Ribbons" will be at the Now Gallery in Greenwich until March 5, 2023

In September 2022 Matty made his debut on the catwalks at Milan Fashion Week, supported by Dolce & Gabbana, who, after seeing his work on Instagram, gave him access to their ateliers and the funds to put on a spectacular catwalk show.

Such is the fanbase for his joyous maximalist work that super-stylist and editor Carine Roitfeld recently commented “[Matty Bovan] is pure fashion, he makes me dream, and we desperately need that sort of designer in the fashion world today.”

His explosive creativity also resulted in the designer being awarded NOW Gallery’s  prestigious 2022 Fashion Commission, which gives fashion designers an opportunity to explore their work beyond the garment and create their own world within a gallery environment. The result is “Ribbons.”

Matty Bovan
Photo: Charles Emerson / Courtesy of NOW Gallery

His work for ‘Ribbons’ celebrates his calling to craft, materials and colour on a grand and crazy scale, bringing his work to the public for the very first time. This fact alone should give everyone cause to hot-foot it to NOW Gallery, to experience his world in close up if only for the pure happiness you’ll feel walking into a 32 foot high jumper made of ribbons.

“Passing down skills and exciting people about craft is a central focus of my work,” says Matty Bovan. “Ribbon is usually used as a trim or flourish in fashion and craft; here I am taking the idea of a small-scale, somewhat apologetic trim, and blowing it up with full brute force of energy and hardcore craft! With this show, I want to illustrate the importance - and fun - of craft and making things yourself.”

Matty Bovan
Self Portrait of Matty Bovan

“Matty makes fashion exciting again, even at the bleakest hour,” says Jemima Burrill the curator at NOW. We couldn’t agree more. Unlike most of the the best art shows, this one comes with a fragrance experience: Matty has teamed up with Vyrao, whose fragrance with feeling scent, The Sixth - designed to inspire mindfulness and intuition - accompanies some of the works, taking the experience of his art and fashion to a new level.  And like all the best art shows, there’s a gift shop, only this one offers a genuine opportunity to snap up limited-edition hand-printed t-shirts, hoodies, and tote bags, plus a selection of earrings and pins made by his mother Plum.

“Ribbons” is at the NOW Gallery until March 5, 2023.