Matthew Stratton Rouge
I was classically trained as a fine artist, but when discovering fashion I knew being a designer was my calling and for me it was a natural evolution putting my vision of art and story telling into fashion. First; in two dimensions, then in three, and finally as the product emerges in four dimensions because, of course, time is a element of design as much as colour or texture.
This came all came naturally growing up, and was hardly surprising with one grand parent being ‘Desmond Stratton’ who was the head design engineer and original designer behind the AC Cobra and many iconic sports cars of the 1950’s and 1960s
and his other grandfather made bespoke luggage for the Parisian luxury market.
‘I spent a lot of time growing up in the workshop with both of my grandparents, being very hands on, learning how to problem solve but in most, understanding the time it takes not only to produce beautiful objects of form and beauty, but theres is a hidden luxury to all items, which goes unnoticed, especially that goes into handbags,
He has been designing his entire life, and has always been an advocate of quality and getting the process just right.
Matthew-Stratton rejects the ordinary in his relentless journey for the sublime. his aim is to create icon handbags that are instantly recognizable which would set a standard in quality & design, which has been achieved with the Blazon monogram collection.
‘The Blazon monogram print is infinite in its nature, there is no beginning and no end. It symbolizes artistry and natural form. Depicting the V Shape which is emblematic of power and strength in it’s design. For me true luxury is a feeling, its a personal discovery, Its an experience which is an expression and extension of ones self.
After completing his studies at Chelsea college of Arts, where he was scouted to join the prestigious Barcelona school [ Meta-fora ] of fine Art, he set up his first design and production business. It taught him many lessons, design was only part of the journey, production, distribution, sales and running an enterprise all became bedfellows for me. From then I progressed into more adventurous projects until in 2014 deciding to commit himself full time to fashion.
‘For me, another dimension of design is production and so I have spent the last four years working with Italian craftspeople based in the Po Valley, where fine tanning, beautiful cutting and perfect tensioned stitching has become a fertile tradition. Most of the artisans I work with are family based craftspeople and there is an unspoken level of communication between us as they realize that my vision and process is also based around my family.
‘In order to understand the tenets of production I have had to modify, refine and develop my designs so that they can effortlessly translate from the rough sketch to the carpe, to the refined product which is the hallmark of my design vision. Working directly alongside our artisans and their unrivaled expertise has been fundamental in creating the Valore aesthetic, understanding the rules of form, function, and beauty, they do not always work hand in hand, but you need to understand them in order to break them and re-write them.’