We checked in with Matt Porter to pick his brain. You may be familiar with his well-curated Instagram account, where we, amongst his many followers, appreciate his eye for good design and appetite for travel. If not, let us introduce you.
Looking at your Instagram, one easily sees your appreciation for good design and aesthetics. When we dug deeper, we discovered you're a Libra; a great appreciator of beauty. From your perspective, how do you define beauty?
For me beauty is everything from the tangible to intangible. I appreciate the craftsmanship in design pieces; how a chair or candlestick holder can be elegantly constructed and please my ‘eye’ all the way to a grand building, with intricate carvings, such as the York Minster. However, the concept can go much further. Beauty is also the atmosphere of places: the quiet in an isolated place, the heat from a fire in my favourite pub on a cold winter’s day, or even just the music coming from the record player as I potter around the house.
What is your favourite rule to break?
I’m generally a very conforming sort of chap. So rule breaking doesn’t often get much wilder than trying to get away with exceeding my hand luggage allowance on aeroplanes.
Tell us about an emerging designer you're most excited about.
I really love the work of Form & Thread. They produce beautiful menswear essentials. Form & Thread garments are crafted with thought and consideration and you always know you’re wearing a quality item when you put their clothes onto you. And that goes from their socks to their shirts. Whilst their collection is simple and relatively plain, you know your wardrobe will always be geared with classic and staple pieces to see you through most occasions.
If it could become your life, what film/book/song would you want to live in and why?
This is good, albeit tough, question! As a child, I spent a lot of time with my Grandparents. My Grandfather was a big fan of Ella Fitzgerald. I would often walk into their house with Ella blasting from the record player. I think any of the songs from the Rogers and Hart songbook somehow epitomise a yearning for simplicity, all with a dash of 50s and 60s charisma.
One of my favourite books is Daniel Deronda by George Elliot. The characters, whilst flawed in many ways, live in a world of travel, style and in constant fascination with new culture and social influences.
The beautifully shot, io sono L’amore (I Am Love) from director Guadagnino is set in Milan. It follows the changing circumstances of a notable Italian family. The film explores the stunning streets of Milan, awe inspiring architecture and rambling countryside. Whilst I wouldn’t wish all the circumstances in the film on myself, the sophisticated lifestyle portrayed through stunning cinematography means that I would for sure like to dip my toes into that world for a moment or so.
What is one aspect of your present/adult life that would make younger you very happy?
I think I have (or tried to at least) keep up with my music. Whether that’s going to gigs, exploring new artists on a streaming service, or playing in an orchestra. Music was such a big part of my childhood that not carrying this element further would have been a real shame. Living in London makes this much easier as access to music is on your doorstep. I’m particularly looking forward to seeing lots of the Proms this summer.
Thank you, Matt. We enjoyed learning more about you and certainly share your passion for craftsmanship and thoughtful design. Kindred spirits alike.