“I must have been about 11 and off school sick. It was back when videos were still a thing and my mum had her favourites. She liked boys’ films with monsters or aliens. I was a bit of a wimp: I didn’t like Ghostbusters, Godzilla, Jurassic Park. So God knows I was scared watching Alien but it was worth it. And Sigourney Weaver was so cool in it. She’s androgynous and masculine and she’s got that kind of hard look. I love all the outfits; I love that idea of uniformity and that weird space white jersey underwear. I love her pumps, 80s hair... It looks great with that jaw and that face. And I love that she wears no make-up. Her eyes are so dark. And she really carries it. It’s hard and metallic, very far from my aesthetics. And maybe, at the minute, because people keep describing everything I do as girly and glittery, which I don’t see it as at all, I’m striving for something a bit harder.”
I remember my first Matty sighting. We were both en route to Central Saint Martins in 2010 or 11 and I was tailing him, intrigued by this vision of mish-mashed genders and anarchic hotchpotch of colour. It took six months to summon the courage to approach him to model in my video and performance work. Little did I know how striking he would be in front of the lens. What makes Matty even more special is his grounded sincerity, quite in contrast to the times. I once asked him how he coped with being looked at in Paris, a city not known for its manners. He said he was just happy that he’d made an effort to look his best. No malice, no anger, just secure in his own being, and embracing of all.
Hair Maarit Niemela at Bryant Artists using Bumble and Bumble; Make-up Jenny Coombs at Streeters using NARS Cosmetics; Styling assistants Rebecca Perlmutar, Marta Martinez Regidor; Make-up assistant Porsche Poon; Post-production Labyrinth Photographic; Production Mini Title; Special thanks to Clapton Tram.
This article originally appears in AnOther Magazine S/S17.