I live alone in York, where I grew up, but am regularly in London for meetings and parties.
Which shops do you rely on?
5 Carlos Place, Matches’ Mayfair townhouse, to see how my collection is doing; Liberty as I sometimes incorporate their fabrics in my work, such as the iconic Tana Lawn pattern. MAC Cosmetics on Carnaby Street; Roksanda’s store on Mount Street — if she’s around, we’ll go to The Connaught for tea and a goss. And Stephen Jones on Great Queen Street for caps and balaclavas.
Where do you go to let your hair down?
Bistrotheque in Bethnal Green, always such fun and the best food. Last time I had roast cod with brown butter, followed by hazelnut and raspberry cake with clotted cream.
Where would you recommend for a first date?
I would have to say the V&A, to me appreciation of the past and the arts is very stimulating, but the pub is equally valid! Maybe you could do both to test how they rate.
Best meal you’ve had?
I think my best meal would be at Sartori on Great Newport Street, an authentic Southern Italian restaurant with amazing pizzas — around the corner from the old Central Saint Martins — which I had with my mum after my interview at the Charing Cross Road site years ago. It felt like a real shift in my life.
If you could buy any building and live there which would it be?
I adore the Sir John Soane’s Museum, but I wouldn’t want to change it in any way. It’s such a beautiful, special, neo-classical place.
What makes someone a Londoner?
My grandma was raised in Bethnal Green and I think a lot of Londoners I know are really strong in both character and personality; as it’s such a large city you have to develop a thick skin.
What’s your London secret?
The Oxfam Bookshop down Marylebone High Street and the one in Holborn. There’s nothing better than a bit of a browse through the cast-off books.
What are you up to at the moment for work?
I’ve been developing new fabrics from deadstock materials and yarns for my new collection at London Fashion Week, and prep for an immersive, participatory, art installation at Yorkshire Sculpture Park in October. I’m hoping it will raise timely questions about identity and who controls it.
Where do you stay in London?
I love The Standard; it’s like something from a movie and I love all the little details, such as the original bookshelves from when it was the Camden Council Library.
What do you collect?
Old cameras, I have about 30. My favourite is my grandad’s old Olympus. I’ve shot many projects on it over the years, it’s a beautiful camera and I treasure the fact it’s his.
What’s your favourite work of art in the capital?
I love the V&A costume department. The Chinese Conjurer in Massine’s ballet ‘Parade,’ designed by Pablo Picasso from 1917 is a favourite piece there.
What’s the most important thing you’ve learnt during the lockdowns?
To try and keep perspective.
Matty Bovan is a recipient of BFC NewGen 2021 in partnership with TikTok, supporting his London Fashion Week show