Elegiac and elegant Matthew Miller's SS15 show was sensitive and sombre. Despite Miller being inspired by an epoch but two decades younger than Topman’s swinging 70s, his collection was worlds apart. Miller’s post-war poem was inspired by the ‘demob’ uniforms handed out to returning soldiers of the Second World War, as the men began to try and re-assimilate into normal, everyday life. The mass produced uniforms were made in non-descript navy blues and chalked pinstripes, and cut with a one-size-fits-all attitude with a wide leg finish.
Naturally Miller’s designs where anything but mass-produced. Taking inspiration from the ‘demob’ pinstripe, Miller sent exquisitely tailored navy and white pinstripe suits with single oversized pleats to the back, down the catwalk. Variations on the traditional suit were offered; sleeveless, three-piece, crop-legged and double breasted.
As usual Matthew's casting was spot on with faces we recognise from last season, including Benjamin Jarvis, Joel Mignott, Mac Phiri and Oliver Cookson. We also saw the addition of strong newcomer Aidan Ledward, one of our super cool Issue 6 boys.
The tailoring was form fitting- almost constrictive, and along with Miller’s patchwork technique, suggested the fragmented inner dialogues of the returned soldiers. Both the collaged pinstripe and denim, along with the tight fitting cuts hinted at a hidden torment and confusion. The devil was in the detail too- Velcro slogans that read ‘war’ ‘social’ and ‘anti’ decorated suit-sleeves and lapels and explored the fighter’s inability to communicate with a community he now finds himself an alien within. The garments were poignantly styled with floral chokers and wristbands that felt quasi-religious and commemorative of fallen comrades.
Despite the post-war mood, Miller had modernised the pinstripe and a particularly spectacular striped biker-jacket sealed the deal. Models wore the suits with navy pony-haired skate shoes and a double-denim look with mega turn-ups was a head-turner. The boys looked cherubic, but crest-fallen with heavily greased side partings and drawn eyes. Unexpectedly a few androgynous girl-models rubbed shoulders with the boys down the runway and went someway to reminding you of the shockingly young age at which boys were sent to fight. Profound, yet punk in its deconstructed finish, it was a cohesive and at it’s core, British collection from Miller.
Photography by Sophie Mayanne.
Words by Sara Gilmer.