I came to learn about MKNB when I was perusing Lookbook.nu a while back and came across a striking image of a leggy peroxide blonde kicking around a forest in this incredible, other-worldy outfit made entirely out of knit sweaters.
A little internet stalking later and I found out that this vision in knit was Matt Bovan, a very young fashion student working on an amazing knitwear line called MKNB.
I'm going to let the pictures speak for themselves-Matt certainly has created a compelling aesthetic for his line and no doubt his talent will take him far. Matt has just finished his stint at the Leeds College of Art & Design (where not surprisingly, he won student of the year!) and is applying to Central Saint Martins in Knitwear-how very very exciting! Best of luck, Matt.
How did you get started making clothes?
Ever since I was a child I have known that I want to make clothes! I have made all my own clothes since 2005 and really it’s all I have wanted to do in life! I honestly don’t know what I would do if I didn’t make my own! I think I’d buy second hand, vintage and possibly some designer bits, but my clothes fit my personality 100%! I love working on all my ‘personal’ stuff outside college, even though I’m studying fashion, my own collections give me a release.
How do you make your clothes? Are they recycled out of old sweaters?
I make my own patterns for leggings, tops and dresses and I have 4 or 5 knitting machines that I use for knitwear and I have been using them for about 2 years.
I love knitwear with an insane passion – I don’t know why but there is just something about it! I love the feel and I could honestly live in entirely knitted clothes.
MKNB Fashion Show at Leeds College of Art & Design
Why sweaters? What is so compelling about them to you?
Knitwear and jumpers are so easy to wear, can look so effective and have an androgynous feel. They mould to body shape and give the wearer incredible movement! I love to create clothes that people can mix with other stuff and also just wear on their own to look effortless – I feel they have versatility.
Matt modelling his own designs
What will MKNB be like in 2009?
I’m so excited for where I’m taking MKNB in 09, the knitwear is going to a whole other level! I’m creating whole new patterns, new techniques and being able to express them in a whole new way. I have figured out how to incorporate words within my knitwear – I love it! Science and history and pipe-smoking 18th century fellows are my heroes at this point in time! I’m so excited to start it – Jane I will keep you posted!! I feel this is my best yet, but it’s all top-secret at the moment!
What is inspiring your Light Voyager collection?
Light Voyager was my first ‘real’ collection and the inspiration came from all these ideas in my head I had gathered. I wanted a fierce, tribal character, who travelled the globe. All my clothes seem to connect with nature and Light Voyager was a mix of neon bright coral with all these darker colours and textures. I also wanted the clothes to be very wearable and quite fun. The name was created just from mind mapping and it hit me in a moment – this is how I create all my collection names – I just know what fits!!
A sweater from MKNB's Light Voyager collection.
Who would you like to see wear your clothes?
All sorts of people! I love it when my friends wear my clothes – they all have this unique style, which I love, and they all interpret my clothes differently. If I had the opportunity for a celebrity or someone famous to wear my clothes I would like Björk or Kate Bush to wear them, but really anyone who appreciates me designs: if people are original and wear the clothes because they enjoy them, you can tell instantly – people have to wear the clothes, not the clothes to wear the people!
Matt and a band of MKNB models
Matt, thank you for doing this interview and we are so excited to see the path that MKNB takes.
Matt tells me he has just gotten back from London and has lots of new research and inspiration for his new collection-can't wait to see the results!