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Vyrao Scents RIBBONS by Matty Bovan

Vyrao Scents RIBBONS by Matty Bovan

Matty Bovan is one of the most creatively conscious British designers and artists working today. So we were thrilled when he asked to use Vyrao's emotional wellbeing scents as uplifting sensory additions to his exhibiton, Ribbons. Here, we chat to Matty and discover why fragrance, emotion and memories are entwined into his creative experience.

Portrait of Matty Bovan by Charles Emerson

When is a ribbon not a ribbon? When it’s in the hands of Matty Bovan and becomes the 32 foot high centrepiece of his new show at the NOW Gallery. We’ve been following his work since 2015 when he was tapped by Marc Jacobs straight out of Saint Martin’s School of Art. His fashion career, and advocacy for craft and making things by hand, has been unstoppable since. 

In September 2022 Matty made his debut at Milan Fashion Week, supported by Dolce Gabbana who gave him the free rein of their atelier to create his runway show. In December 2022 his artistry resulted in Matty being awarded NOW Gallery’s 2022 Fashion Commission. This prestigious award offers fashion designers the opportunity to explore their work in a gallery setting, and Matty’s vision has exploded into the NOW space in a variety of ways from transportive films, that giant ribbon sculpture, and painted artworks.

Vyrao’s Yasmin Sewell worked closely with Matty to scent the spaces within the gallery with the aim of enhancing the sensory experience for visitors, and to inspire the different emotions Matty hopes people will feel while exploring Ribbons.  

You’ve said Ribbons “is a calling to hardcore craft” – why is that important to you?

Craft has always been important to me, because it’s another word for ’skill.' Without these skills being constantly re-examined, we wouldn’t be able to create something new. It's so lazy for people to dismiss craft, to create something from nothing using your hands is a very human thing, and it's also vital to both the fashion and art worlds. 

Tell me about the logistics of the 32 foot high central ribbon structure?

I work very organically, so it was made in lots of panels. Everyone’s referring it to a jumper, which is great, as this is what it’s suggestive of. Inside it, you discover the special films I created which are playing within, and the site-specific rug I wove, which you can sit upon to take it all in.

Tell us why high vibe energy is part of your work? 

I guess I feel the majority of clothes have kind of lost energy these days. Most feel over processed and sanitised. I want a rawness and a spark to live in all my work. 

You chose to work with Yasmin Sewell and Vyrao for Ribbons - what attracted you to Vyrao and working with the fragrances?

I have always loved fragrance and perfumes, and I grew up in a house where it was used all the time, so for me I associate scent with memories; a smell can transport you. With Vyrao it's incredible because these are fragrances I haven't experienced in perfume before, and that's so rare and unique these days. 

Each Vyrao fragrance tells a different story; it's like reading a beautiful book, each chapter allowing you to dream more and more. It was very important to me that any perfume associated with this project align with my ethos: luxury, rarity, combining the future and the past, an element of the unexpected - Vyrao really is perfect. 

How did people respond to Vyrao fragrance melding with experiencing your work in and around them? What did you want people to feel?

For me my work is all about emotion, so I just knew that Vyrao would really help me take it there. I always want my work to have a certain ambiguity to it, and I like it to mean something different to each person who looks at and experiences it. Perfume is the same in that it's very personal and means so many different things to each person, so I knew I had to make a decision on the fragrance I personally felt worked in each space of the gallery, to help the gallery visitors experience flow, we worked with Magnetic 70, Georgette and The Sixth
I know you love The Sixth – with input from a psychic, monks, and science – what do you love about it? How does it make you feel?

To me it’s like 'future past’, which is something I work with all the time. I love elements from a past world and life, but combined with newness that takes it into the future, and The Sixth is like that for me. It wakes me up when I first spray it, and it changes throughout the day into something more magical. It has an ancient quality also, like a sort of magic potion, almost like protection. 

What has been the best thing about Ribbons? 

It's been incredible, and I have people tagging me and messaging me daily about how much they have loved it, which for me, is the ultimate compliment. I think it was very special we were able to use different Vyrao fragrances within differing areas of the space, that really heightened the sensory experience of each guests exploration of it.

Thank you Matty Bovan.

Ribbons runs at the NOW Gallery, Greenwich Peninsula, until March 5, 2023. Book tickets 

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