Spotlight: Matthew Miller


Written by Rebecca Griffith
08 Monday 08th November 2010
 In the last of our series of interviews with MacArthur Glen Spirit of Fashion Awards recipients, Don’t Panic talks to menswear maverick, Matthew Miller. As a champion of modern tailoring, Miller uses traditional techniques alongside technology and performance fabrication to create a truly modern vision. The Royal College of Art graduate’s second SS11 collection, ‘Form = Function’ was launched at London Fashion Week 2010 as a part of Fashion East Men. Adhering to the notion of the ‘urban gentlemen’, Miller’s use of wool gabardine and cotton juxtaposed with modern materials such as tyvek and neoprene make for a contemporary approach to tailoring. With nifty little features such as garments that fold up into their own pockets, Miller’s designs will easily find their place in every man’s wardrobe. 
What was the inspiration behind your SS11 Collection?
The inspiration comes from a contemporary exploration of Dieter Rams’ design philosophy ‘Form Follows Function’. Recently I have been questioning what makes good design. Having discovered Dieter Rams, I began to reconsider my design philosophy. In today's world form is just as important as function. One such example being the company, Apple, who, in my view, have embraced the ‘Form = Function’ foundations and built an incredibly strong brand.
What three words would you use to describe the ‘Matthew Miller aesthetic’?
Construction. Performance. Tailored.
What does being chosen as one of the winners of the Spirit of fashion award winners mean to you?
It's great to be recognised as an up-and-coming design talent and the award itself is amazing for someone in the early stages of his career. It provides me with necessary support that, due to mainly economic factors, would be out of my reach for a couple more seasons at least.
What are your favourite places to hang out in London?
I wouldn't say I have favourite places. London is huge and every area has its plus and minus points. I love just walking round and discovering new things that normally you might not see. It keeps London fresh and interesting for me, plus it helps having friends that live all over the city, so it means I am constantly exposed to new areas and ways of living in the city. So rather then dictate to people where I reckon is good, I would rather say that people should just walk around, look up as well as looking straight on and discover all the hidden gems this city has.
Any advice for aspiring menswear designers out there?
Yeah, don’t let the bastards grind you down! Stay focused. Keep going. Know who to talk things through with and always go with your gut feeling.

Who would you say was your style icon?
It would have to be Patrick Bateman (American Psycho). Although he does have a music taste that I’m not 100% convinced about, he does have impeccable taste and an attention to detail bordering on psychotic.

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