We admit that, at The Style Examiner, we have been pleasantly intrigued by the sartorial creations produced by Matthew Miller and have been following the young designer’s career with great interest. As such, when Miller showed his menswear collection for Spring/Summer 2013 on the runway during London Men’s Fashion Week, it was with great delight that we were able to deem it an absolute triumph and consider it, by far, the most accomplished and professional range of menswear that he has ever produced.
A graduate of London’s Royal College of Art and a recipient of the 2010/2011 McArthurGlen Spirit of Fashion Award, Miller was one of the young designers selected by London department store Selfridges for ‘Bright Young Things’ during London Fashion Week Autumn/Winter 2011, one of the store’s initiatives to support young talent by inviting designers to decorate a store window with their collections. A month before his display was made public to London shoppers, Miller had presented part of his Autumn/Winter 2011 collection at the British Fashion Council’s London Showrooms in Paris. At this display, he was interviewed (and had his collection photographed) for Italian Vogue. In addition, his designs started featuring in numerous magazines, including Wallpaper*, I-D and Attitude.
At London Collections: Men, Miller introduced his Spring/Summer 2013 collection by stating, with worrying words, that “to create authenticity, beauty has to be destroyed”. He also explained that the prints used throughout the collection came from CCTV imagery of social housing blocks designed during the apogee of Brutalist architecture. However, when the models took to the runway, the audiences sighed with relief at the subtle and highly elegant manner in which the designer was able to convey this message.
The subtlety of expressed meanings could be seen in garments with the laser-cut names of designers who took part in MAN and NEWGEN initiatives over the years as a fitting tribute to the British fashion industry in the year that it welcomes the inaugural menswear fashion week. In addition, impeccably tailored garments revealed visible extended pleats in the back, suggesting a new vocabulary in the conservative lexicon of men’s sartorial realm. Despite this immense qualitative leap in Miller’s career, it was refreshing to see that the designer did not let go of his trademark features, such as using M33 carabiners (oval-shaped hooks of industrial strength that he has been using over the last few seasons) in jackets and on the back of trousers.
Overall, the collection revealed the influence of a minimalist and monochromatic tradition tinted by functional practicality. Suits were sharply tailored and occasionally deconstructed in the form of sleeveless jackets and fitted shorts, and boxy t-shirts in luxurious fabrics alternated with stylish knitwear and shirting. Adding to this impeccable collection, Miller collaborated with footwear label Oliver Sweeney to develop a range of whole-cut shoes and trainers defined by their unique and unexpected detailing.