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Sculpting data

Matthew David Andrews: Kissing the past, looking into the future

Blurring the lines between reality and virtuality, ZOOT has the opportunity to present its second collaboration with Drawing Cabret Couture, aka DCC. Having previously worked together on “The Silver Cord“, this time, teaming up with talented fashion designer Matthew David Andrews from Central Saint Martins and his debut collection. Set against the backdrop of DCC’s London studios, this partnership showcases haute couture with cutting-edge technology. One again, DCC is pushing the boundaries of creativity and perception by inviting illustrators into their studio to have their take on the shoot.



Photographer Joseph Frankitt-Kennedy

Production and  location DCC Studios London

Fashion designer and stylist  Matthew David Andrews
Millinery Jenny Beattie

Set design Matthew GJ Lawrence at DCC
Official lighting partner Rotolight

Models Rouge Ma Knees and Janet Mayer at J’adore la vie cabaret

Makeup Laura Malwina
Wigs Anne Veck

Words and interview Letícia Lima


Drawing Cabaret Couture [DCC Studios], stands at the forefront of avant-garde fashion and artistic expression. Based in London, DCC is known for its conceptual productions and immersive art events, where fashion, art and performance converge in a display of creativity. With commanding visual storytelling, DCC invites illustrators on the photo set and works not only with fashion models but also with dancers and performers to tell the story. Now collaborating with designer Matthew David Andrews, unveiling his debut collection in a fusion of high fashion and technological prowess.

Matthew David Andrews’s creative journey has been influenced by his background and education, notably his time at Central Saint Martins. Hailing from Essex, UK, Matthew reminisces about the vibrant and eclectic fashion scene of his hometown, which left a mark on his design sensibilities. His childhood was brimming with creativity, often crafting imaginative projects with his mother and nurturing what would soon be his future career.

Despite facing adversity as a queer individual, Matthew found solace and expression through creativity, which eventually led him to pursue fashion design. His journey took a significant turn during his A Level studies in Drama, Art, and Textiles, where he discovered the potential of combining various artistic elements into fashion design, sparking his passion for the craft.

My life hasn’t always been easy. As a queer person I have faced a lot of prejudice as a child. I was severely bullied in school. I think this type of pain really changes you as a person, especially at such a young age. For me the only way I was able to survive was through creativity. If I didn’t have that I’m not sure I would be here today if I’m honest.

— Matthew David Andrews


For his debut collection, Inspired by the metaphor of gamers navigating the virtual world, Mathew provides an intense viewpoint on contemporary society, where it is increasingly difficult to distinguish reality from what is digitally manipulated.

The collection is a vibrant tapestry of colors and textures, inspired by gamer, gothic and scene cultures. With voluminous shaped gowns Matthew delves deep into this narrative by using AI technology to create the prints, with textures and patterns that evoke a sense of wonder and intrigue. He transforms digital concepts into tangible garments and gowns, not only adding depth and complexity to the collection, but also provoking a dialogue about the role of technology in shaping our perception of reality. Bold statement signs like “Crazy”, “Piranha” or “Funky, Good, Yeah” remind us of Victor & Rolf´s 2019 slogan gowns and turn the models in his show into walking memes, interacting with the audience.

Incorporating the fantastic hat creations of Jenny Beattie’s millinery, the collection and each look is given an added layer of artistic detail. With a background spanning from Thailand to London, Jenny’s journey and her distinctive approach to hat making reflects a dedication to innovating techniques and creativity.

21 year old British photographer Joseph Frankitt-Kennedy created the striking images with the help of dancer and DCC co-founder Janet Mayer, who not only graced numerous catwalks from JP Gaultier to collaborations with Vogue Italia at Milan and London Fashion week but also co-founded the prestigious J’adore la vie cabaret  dance company. Her performance partner in our editorial is dancer and non-binary caberet artist Rouge Ma Knees, and manager of the infamous Homoparody in London.

ZOOT spoke to Matthew about his collection, his journey towards fashion, and the importancy of producing clothes in a substanable way; please read his interview below.



ZOOT: Can you share with us a bit about your background and upbringing? How did your early experiences shape your artistic sensibilities?

Matthew David Andrews: Hi I’m Matthew, I am 22 years old and I am from the UK. I live in a place called Essex which is on the outskirts of London. There are no words to describe how crazy Essex fashion is! Where I live has definitely had a massive impact on the way I design…

I remember as a child how girls would arrive at school wearing neon zebra print handbags and cheetah print coats with massive hairrollers and harsh makeup – think Jersey Shore meets Drag Race! I currently study fashion design at the prestigious Central Saint Martins in London. My personality is camp and expressive. My childhood was packed with creativity. Some of my earliest memories are of me and my mum making a treasure chests out of cardboard boxes – literally creating art from trash! I would also come home from school and select a topic out of the encyclopaedia, creating enormous displays on my bedroom walls about all of the finding I had made and learnt. This instinctive creativity has always been present since a young age.



ZOOT: Were there any particular influences or inspirations from your childhood or family environment that you feel have had a lasting impact on your creative journey?

Matthew David Andrews: My life hasn’t always been easy. As a queer person I have faced a lot of prejudice as a child. I was severely bullied in school. I think this type of pain really changes you as a person, especially at such a young age. For me the only way I was able to survive was through creativity. If I didn’t have that I’m not sure I would be here today if I’m honest.

Even now I come across hate and abuse on a daily basis – it is something that people form my community have to learn to live with in the world. I hope to try and change this in the future to help create a world that recognises the queer community as equals.

My fashion self discovery started when I was studying Drama, Art and Textiles at A Level. I started to realise that you can combine all of these elements to create fashion. I always had an interest in dressing up and I think everything just naturally fell into place for me.



ZOOT: Having worked with prominent figures, including Cara Delevigne, Angela Bassett, and RuPaul’s Drag Race UK stars. How do you navigate the varied styles and personalities of such notable clients in your design process?

Matthew David Andrews: My style marries both commercial and avant-garde styles. It allows me to push the envelope and design a fantasy which captures the audience’s imagination! Bringing back some of the great magic of fashion of the 1990s. I think this fantasy has mass appeal as it has been lost over the years.



ZOOT: How is your path being shaped by Central Saint Martins, what advice would you give young people who want to study fashion design?

Matthew David Andrews: I started the Womenswear pathway at Central Saint Martins in September 2021 and am now in my gap year! The school is very much known for its unconventional approach to fashion and allows their students to experiment with new ways to create garments. I’ve been lucky enough to interview with some of the biggest brands in the world. I traveled to Paris last year to deliver a dress to Maison Margiela created using a print of my CV. Then also met with Viktor & Rolf in Amsterdam to share my portfolio and garments. I am so grateful for all of these opportunities that CSM have given me. It is so easy to say the cliché “never give up on your dreams” but it is honestly true. If you want something bad enough you can achieve it. That would be my advice to anyone wanting to study fashion. Things happen for a reason and although something may feel like a setback – it often works out for the best in the long run.



ZOOT: Your debut collection is inspired by the metaphor of gamers navigating a digital reality. Could you elaborate on how this theme influenced your design process and the overall aesthetic of the collection?

Matthew David Andrews: In my A/W 24 collection I have used new technologies such as AI to create fabric prints – a new and innovative way to develop designs. I think my work kisses the past but looks into to the future of fashion. Whilst working on my first major collection I have been able to work on many different styles and details – broadening my horizons and pushing my abilities. Playing with different fabric combinations and using these properties to discover the abilities of materials, to move, drape and shape the pieces in unique ways. Combined with my constant love of print and color – my work is forever striking and bold whilst remaining wearable. You will always be able to identify a garment made by me!



ZOOT: As you navigate the creative process, what role do cultural influences and societal trends play in shaping your design decisions?

Matthew David Andrews: Yes, there is definitely an underlying element of social and political satire in my work. obviously defying gender norms but also just the blatant boisterous color palette and clash of prints which disrupts the dull and lifelessness of mainstream fashion.



ZOOT: You mentioned using AI image generation techniques to create prints that challenge the viewer’s perception. How do you see technology, particularly AI, shaping the future of fashion design? And how did you explore this idea within your collection?

Matthew David Andrews: Using this as the starting point as a way to communicate my vision of the world through garments, a key element of this concept has been used as a design tool in developing the collection. AI image generation has been used to create prints – what looks like a cable knit jumper is in fact a print on jersey fabric. Playing with the brain and blurring the line of what looks real before as we look deeper. Beyond the pixels and rendering. The collection exploits conventions, comically exaggerating styles and using popular culture as a way to inject satire into visuals. Warping a digital reality.



ZOOT: Given the evolving landscape of technology and fashion, do you foresee incorporating any new techniques or technologies into your next projects?

Matthew David Andrews: Absolutely! I already have a very exciting concept for my graduate collection next year, which will be a technological feat if we can pull it off! FINGERS CROSSED!



ZOOT: Sustainability is increasingly becoming a focal point in the fashion industry. How do you believe designers can play a more significant role in promoting environmentally conscious practices and reshaping the industry’s approach to sustainability?

Matthew David Andrews: Most of my clothes are thrifted [to shop for or buy used goods especially at a store that specializes in secondhand]. I think even before we start using sustainable methods in our practice we should begin by making our day-to-day choices more sustainable. I have also had a recent donation of dead stock wedding and prom dresses which I plan to deconstruct back to their raw materials and use this as the core fabrics in my graduate collection. The biggest mistake people often make in fashion school is using ‘branches; ‘leaves’ or ‘seeds’ in a sustainability project – to me this is a very base level approach. Instead, we should be smarter and think about what people will want to keep for a lifetime rather than a year.



ZOOT: What’s your vision about fashion nowadays what do you love about fashion and what do you hate? Which colleagues or movements inspire you?

Matthew David Andrews: I think the fashion industry as a whole has lost its sense of fun. The problem is brands are so concerned about what will make them money rather than what they actually want to do. there is very little risk-taking because everything is either made to be accessible and commercial or a gimmick for Instagram and TikTok which is short-lived and empty. Obviously, the recent Margiela show completely captures the real power and essence of what fashion should and could be… the show will probably go down in history as one of the greatest of all time. I think you have to live in the moment and really tap into the zeitgeist in order to achieve that type of impact. This is near impossible to achieve but when it happens… MAGIC.



ZOOT: How was the collaboration and the design process with milliner Jenny Beattie?

Matthew David Andrews: Myself and Jenny met via Instagram last year when she first helped create a military-style cap for my LVMH project during my second year. We enjoyed collaborating so much that I asked Jenny to work with me again on the A/W 24 collection and hopefully many more to come… we have an abundance of ideas! Our process is quite unique. I will always create some type of collage/ design but this tends to evolve over time as I begin to sculpt and drape fabric on the stand, do fittings etc. But having said this, the hats stayed the same from the start! I warped images of top hats and pillboxes and loved the idea of having these larger than life versions of these classical styles. Almost as if they have been processed through an AI generator. Stretched. Warped. Twisted. Reshaped. Jenny then took these early designs and worked closely with me to capture the shape we wanted, choice of color, veiling – lots of details and strategy to work out the mechanics and stylization. Jenny will be working with me again to create hats for my graduate collection. Watch out for that – we plan on going bigger and better than ever.



ZOOT: What’s next for you, are there any particular challenges or opportunities you anticipate encountering as you move forward with your projects?

Matthew David Andrews: I hope to continue renting out the pieces from the collection to stylists. I also plan to apply to different scholarships to support me through my final year of university when I return in September this year to begin my graduate collection… keep up to date on my Instagram @matthew.david.andrews to be a part of this exciting journey. I can’t wait to reveal what we have planned!



Thank you very much Matthew!




Edited by Daniella Teixeira.


To boot …




If you got curious now about the incredible artwork collab with fourteen DCC artists, please check out “Illustrating The sculpting data” and the BTS of drawing the shoot by photographer Paul Winstone on ZOOT.


Illustrators capturing the photo shoot scene at the DCC studio in London, BTS photography by Paul Winstone.


Fashion designer Mathew David  Andrews with his muse Rouge Ma Knees, BTS photography  by Paul Winstone.




You can view ZOOT´s first collaboration with DCC “The silver cord” in photos here on ZOOT.

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