For his debut at MAN, the former Fashion East designer used contrasting nylon shirts with grassy prints and strong 3D shapes
Second in line for the Topman and Fashion East collaboration that is the MAN show was relative newcomer Matthew Miller. Having shown as part of Fashion East's menswear installations for three seasons previously, this was Matthew's first season as part of MAN. Known for his structuring and use of technology and technical fabrics, Miller's Spring/Summer '12 collection maintained that focus. Producing this season in almost entirely crisp white, it was outerwear and tailoring focused with strong looking bold shapes, 3D pockets and oversized volumes. First up was a fantastic Harrington shape jacket, with high neck colour and detachable pocket, with the pocket theme applied in patches throughout the piece. An oversized poncho in tough stiff nylon came up next, showing that Miller can combine both strong aesthetics and techniques to produce statement pieces. Nylon shirts with blades of grass prints, in contrasting blue against the white, were seen, as were transparent elements allowing various layers to come through. As the collection progressed it was on into simple and minimal tailoring, in greys and blues with flashes of colour in the form of neon yellow buckles and straps.
Dazed Digital: How has this season been for you?
Matthew Miller: It's been an epic six months to be honest, from going to Paris with the menswear installations to pulling together the collection over a few months, going form the bare bones to something more full.
DD: What were you looking at for inspiration?
Matthew Miller: The inspiration was trying to use all the technology around us that we had access to. The buckles on the bags, the hardware, were all made from 3D software and then cast from a 3D printed piece. We built the silhouette of the shirt in the same programme and a couple of other pieces. It was difficult but really was about pioneering ideas and technology for us. The big jacket was nylon but had a Kevlar weave going through it, so it was lightweight but really strong as well.
DD: What material developments were you working with?
Matthew Miller: Well that side of things really took us down quite a long path. It has basically taken us six months to get that all right. We constantly tested everything, even the flashes of fluoro were using a new fabric that is environmentally friendly replacement for leather. We then cover with a vinyl to give it a new colour.
DD: Why go into so much detail with fabrics and techniques?
Matthew Miller: I always remember someone saying to me when I was at the RCA that with menswear the devil is in the detail. And it is. It's not just about the end product, it's really about the process as well. I think fashion is changing and people care about the process more and that, by definition, is leading designers to innovate.