4 min

To be divine

Matthew Burditt makes sexy clothes for vulgar people

Credit: TJ Ngan

Michael Venus: So, who the hell are you? How would you describe yourself?

Matthew Burditt: Well, I’m a designer based out of Vancouver, originally from south-western Ontario. I am a student at Blanche Macdonald for Fashion Design and really enjoying that, and basically I’m just looking to make beautiful clothes for beautiful people. I’m pretty reserved when it comes to everything but my style. I’m also pretty much just a dirty mouth with feet-and a boy, last time I checked.

MV: What is Divinity Designs?

MB: Divinity is a statement: “To Be Divine.” I think of it like an attitude. I make sexy clothes for vulgar people; I make quiet clothes for people who like to show off. I take influence from strange places. I’m influenced by culture and subculture and the way they play for and with each other. It’s quite a bi-polar attitude.

MV: How did you get into this kind of artistic expression and what do you hope to achieve in the long run?

MB: I started making clothes for this bizarre group of women I hung out with in Ontario: women who didn’t necessarily fit into the kind of beauty that culture usually throws at you. I was in a small, pretty rural town and it was kind of like, be expressive or be stuck there. It was necessary to have some form of outlet as a teenager because there was no other way out. We decided we would just be the weirdos who liked to dress up and get the hell out. I used my friends as big Barbie dolls and was big into de-construction then. That kind of evolved into the way I do things now, very much based on the person who I am creating for. Sometimes, too, I will see some textile that is intriguing and will do a whole bunch of designs based on that-it can be anything. What I hope to do is to absorb as much as I can in school and the Vancouver scene and use that to build up a label of gorgeous, feminine clothes and just spend my days making people feel glamorous and sexy.

MV: In a nutshell tell me about your childhood and how you came unto yourself.

MB: I grew up in a single-parent home, with an awesome, artistic mother who let me pretty much run free and do and be whatever I wanted. She has always been really supportive and inspiring to me. I grew up and moved on fast and am still real close with her and my older brother. I worked some shitty jobs and had moments where my life would sound like an after-school special and really learned from my mistakes. I moved to Vancouver, to start things fresh and be with some friends who came out here before me, met a great guy and it has been pretty smooth since then.

MV: How do you find being a creative person in Vancouver? Is the process good for you or would it be better or worse in, say, another city?

MB: I think Vancouver is very subdued. In places like Toronto, you have people screaming from the roofs and being crazy and really feeling and falling in love with the creative process. Here it is so much more relaxed and polished but still fairly elementary in some aspects. I give mad respect to people like you who are out there putting on these events and nights and really trying to build a scene of artistic expression in Vancouver, because we need to start building a definitive style and giving more venues for local talent instead of looking to the east or the south for inspiration and doing some second-grade carbon-copy. We need to stop having fashion shows and things in bars and really start respecting the talent that we have. I think that is a big reason so many people leave-because the scene doesn’t seem to be evolving very fast. Or at least not as fast as in other places. There are quite a few people who are sweating it out and really bringing life to these events though, and like I said, mad respect.

MV: Lets get a li’l bit nasty now: what turns you on the most about gay man-to-man sex? Also what is it you tend to masturbate to most?

MB: I work full time and go to school full time and that leaves zero time to masturbate. let alone anything else, but if I ever get a chance, I will let you know.

MV: Is there anything that grosses you out about gay sex? Tell me about one of your gross experiences.

MB: Ummmm … again, it’s been so long, but I will say this: I think all sex is kinda funny and gross -as it should be. But all those pink bits just hurt the eyes. 

MV: Okay. Who are your influences and why?

MB: Music, big time. I can just put on albums and sew things for hours. I think because it is such a compliment to the visual side of what I do, I need that aural sensation too. Tori Amos, Leona Naess, Regina Spektor, Bjork I love and a lot of trip-hop stuff too. I am also inspired by designers who are out there making fantastic, bizarre clothing. Alexander McQueen for example. Also, Japanese street culture is so insanely ahead of its time I love it; everyone should go and get copy of the book Fruits by Shoichi Aoki. I’m big into the drag thing too; queens usually have a great eye and can wear messed up clothing and pull it off and are usually all about the fringes of style.

MV: Any other little tidbits you’d like our readers to know about? Any last words of wisdom?

MB: Just that I am always looking for work on the side and to check out my website www.divinitydes. And never trust a man with no upper lip.