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Photographs by Quentin De Wispelaere

Matthew Miller Menswear S/S14

Miller's sartorial manifesto of minimal design aesthetics and performance art

Last week, during a studio visit, Matthew Miller told me that this season was “about creating a manifesto for a design philosophy”. As he unveiled his new collection yesterday afternoon, I couldn’t help but to think back to his invitation – an A3 photocopy of a book called Radical Prototypes. It uses a 70s German typeface - a stark and minimal font, equally beautiful, as it is straight to the point. The same can be said for Miller’s collection. What’s more, the book itself explores the invention of happenings – call it the birth of performance art - a time when most of the work produced during the 60s by artist like Marina Abramović and Yayoi Kusama were fuelled by a political undercurrent, much like Miller’s own work.

He opened the show with a statement – the words ‘Untitled, Mixed Media, Variable dimensions’ painted onto the back of a topless model. Then came the garments, a series of white, pearl grey and black looks, which seemed somewhat industrial. There were some beautiful details, the unfinished hems, exposed seams and the laminated artist labels that were mounted on wood and slotted into the back of jeans. Closing his show to the soundtrack of Jesus and The Mary Chain’s Just Like Honey you acknowledged the beauty in a design philosophy that isn’t concerned with trends – only truth.