Three young labels leading London fashion’s creative uprising

Published September 19, 2017

London has long been ground zero for left-of-center fashion, spurred on by the club kids of yore spilling out into the streets with their day-glo wares at closing time. Those intoxicating currents continue to run through the collections of nascent designers Art School, Wanda Nylon and Matty Bovan—three of the most exciting labels to shake up London’s status quo in recent memory.

Non-binary fashion label Art School—from design duo Eden Loweth and Tom Barratt—uses high-end fashion to eschew conventional gender roles, while badass, empowered women are the perpetual source of inspiration for Wanda Nylon’s Johanna Senyk, and eclectic Central Saint Martins graduate Matty Bovan has no qualms with maximalism in craft, color and fabric. Recently, all three designers partnered with MatchesFashion.com to create exclusive capsule collections, and with their unwavering principles of individuality, we can’t wait to see their next moves.

MATTY BOVAN OF MATTY BOVAN.

MATTY BOVAN OF MATTY BOVAN.

MATTY BOVAN

JANE GAYDUK: As a young designer, what is the most difficult thing about breaking into the industry?

MATTY BOVAN: I really think keeping your own self-belief and your own values is important, really making sure you believe in your own work.

GAYDUK: What is an unexpected perk of the job?

BOVAN: Getting to fly out to NYC and work on shoots or go for a nice dinner occasionally is always fun, especially when it’s with friends.

GAYDUK: What can we expect from your upcoming collection?

BOVAN: I’m super happy with this collection—there is a lot of blood and sweat gone into this—it’s quite harsh I feel.

GAYDUK: Where did you find inspiration for your upcoming collection?

BOVAN: Really came from all over, but a lot from films such as Mad Max and Alien 3—brutal, harsh, environments.

GAYDUK: Who would you most like to collaborate with, living or dead? Why?

BOVAN: I would love to collab with someone like NASA—I admire them so much- form, function and craft; the science behind it is amazing. I find it mega.

GAYDUK: Tell us your favorite fashion week memory.

BOVAN: Probably my last show—I was so happy and felt such amazing energy—getting to work with the best people was just a great feeling.

TOM BARRATT AND EDEN LOWETH OF ART SCHOOL.

TOM BARRATT AND EDEN LOWETH OF ART SCHOOL.

ART SCHOOL

JANE GAYDUK: As a young designer, what is the most difficult thing about breaking into the industry?

EDEN LOWETH: We think as a young label one of the hardest things about breaking into the industry is to get the balance right, staying true to your vision whilst also thinking about what buyers want and ultimately what people want to wear.

GAYDUK: What is an unexpected perk of the job?

LOWETH: How lovely people are! We’ve met some of the most amazing friends we could wish for over the last year.

GAYDUK: What can we expect from your upcoming collection?

LOWETH: A riot of decadent minimalism, centered around our gender de-conforming, incredible cast of collaborators, artists and loved ones.

GAYDUK: Where did you find inspiration for your upcoming collection?

LOWETH: We always start our collections centered around the people we work alongside, party with and love. The way these queer individuals dress and interpret themselves is one of the biggest cornerstones of Art School.

GAYDUK: Who would you most like to collaborate with, living or dead? Why?

LOWETH: Tori Amos. She is a never-ending pool of the most incredible imagery and embodies a spirit that we recognize ourselves.

GAYDUK: Tell us your favorite fashion week memory.

LOWETH: Rehearsing our first performative presentation for Fashion East AW17 with The Theo Adams Company and seeing this magical spark ignite in everyone involved was a very special moment for both of us.

JOHANNA SENYK OF WANDA NYLON.

JOHANNA SENYK OF WANDA NYLON.

WANDA NYLON

JANE GAYDUK: As a young designer, what is the most difficult thing about breaking into the industry?

JOHANNA SENYK: The most difficult it seems to me is to have the courage not to make any compromise, not to be influenced, to remain autonomous and intuitive in his own choices.

GAYDUK: What is an unexpected perk of the job?

SENYK: The meetings, I’m a very eclectic person in my friendships and I did not expect to meet so many people thanks to Wanda Nylon, so like those where I see that have a strong creative universe it happens to me that we create strong links with each other.

GAYDUK: What can we expect from your upcoming collection?

SENYK: Something you simply would not imagine or wait for.

GAYDUK: Where did you find inspiration for your upcoming collection?

SENYK: Everywhere.

GAYDUK: Who would you most like to collaborate with, living or dead? Why?

SENYK: Louis II de Bavière, it would have been fun to build and decorate a castle together. It’s something unimaginable therefore very stimulating for me.

GAYDUK: Tell us your favorite fashion week memory.

SENYK: My first job when I was assistant to a casting director, I started directly with Givenchy at the time Alexander McQueen showed haute couture and believe me that for a first experience it was simply unforgettable—the whole team and I were in tears of emotion at the end of the show. And a few years later obviously my first runway show was an almost unreal memory too … and of course I also cried that day, accompanied by my team and family!