Pretty as a picture, Matthew Miller took on oils and precision details for AW16.
The inspiration behind Miller’s AW16 collection was apparently the redefinition of the ‘Nouveau Riche’. Usually a rather crass, derogatory and classist term, Miller’s claim is that this is not about finance, but about cultural capital: there’s a new Nouveau, and they are those who know a lot of stuff. The physical manifestation of this were the oil on canvas coats and cropped tunics which were dotted throughout: depicting Caravaggio’s David and Goliath. Although there may not be much Chiaroscuro surrounding Miller’s point about the new Nouveau — for knowing stuff will not buy you a Matthew Miller coat, financial privilege will — these oil painted garments in particular were bloody gorgeous.
Black on black, belted, on black
The all black thing has been rather a constant feature so far this LC:M — Anna Wintour won’t be happy. Shame. What’s key is that this uniform is perfect for a London customer in Winter. From grained leather biker jackets, hand sewn leather gloves, wool scarves, straight-cut trousers, and Chesterfield coats — the mastery of the all black style lies in clever layering. A new three-piece suit — made of a half-rubber-half-sheer striped fabric — held its own curvature at shoulders, hips and waists — these were particularly satisfying. Miller decided to belt these looks too — unifying all of the layers around the waist, and it looked great. There is so much potential in a wardrobe of one colour: the young fashion film maker Chris Cunniff once said that ‘texture can, too, be colour’ — and Miller clearly agrees.
Miller’s cast was not all men in suits. There were women in suits too. It’s great that so many menswear designers are also creating designs and samples for women too: although of course there’s a market imperative to open up ones customer base. Madonna once said ‘for a boy to look like a girl is degrading, because you think that being a girls is degrading’, but so it goes that we see so many women on the men’s catwalks, but never any men on the women’s wearing traditionally women’s cuts. It’s continued misogyny, and we’re not even addressing how the whole fashion system is based on selling to a totally separate binary. This debate is long, but props to those menswear designers that are embracing more typically ‘feminine’ aesthetics, and designing for women too.
Words: Tom Rasmussen