IT’S the label that dresses the female form like no other. Using cuts and drapes in ways that break all the traditional design rules, Toni Maticevski is not only a master of his trade, but a fashion marvel in his own right.
From Beyonce and Solange Knowles to Lily Collins; Alicia Keys to Jennifer Hawkins – Maticevski has dressed celebrities across the globe from head-to-toe. So … who is the man behind the Maticevski brand?
When interviewing a designer who holds so much passion for what his label represents, it seems only fair to start his story with exactly that: what a Maticevski woman is to him.
“The Maticevski woman is confident (and) adventurous, with an element of romance,” he shared.
“She loves to feel and look special in her everyday life and she does that through what she wears.”
The Melbourne designer kick-started his career after completing a Bachelor of Fashion Design (with Honours, of course) at Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT). He then went on to work with Donna Karan in New York before moving to Paris to work at Cerruti womenswear.
Before-long he returned to Melbourne where he continued to develop his skills and build on his unique design ideas and, although Maticevski is known for designing by instinct, admitted his time working overseas had taught him valuable lessons about the fashion industry.
“There were a lot of things that I learnt whilst working there (at DKNY),” he said.
“It was definitely an eye-opening experience.”
His most valued lesson: “Always stay true to what you do.”
“I’ve learnt that there will always be people on the outside imputing their influence on what you should be doing,” he said.
His internationally admired label a testament to just how little influence he, in fact, needs.
“It’s been a slow process and I’ve slowly built up the business which I believe has been an attribute,” Maticevski said.
“I also hold our customer as the major factor in its success, they are the ones selling the garments for me: the way they wear them and their loyalty towards the brand.”
Having experimented early with cut, surface decoration, finish, texture, fabric and silhouette manipulation, Maticevski quickly created a unique style and extreme level of attention to detail that is now synonymous with his brand.
“I don’t follow rules,” he said.
“I simply experiment and work out what drapes, fabrics (and) cuts work best.
“Each season I’m pushing the boundaries and it’s forever changing.”
So, although a usual question to a designer goes something along the lines of “what can we expect to see from you next season” … Maticevski is so accustomed to creating in the moment, he is unable to forecast the next path for the Maticevski line.
“My design process each season is very organic,” he said.
“I’m often just creating pieces from my mind so it’s hard to say what (next season) will hold.
“I draw a lot of inspiration from times in fashion, nature, art and my surroundings.”
The talented creative has not only been the designer of choice for celebrities, but has also worked with noted brands in both Melbourne and Sydney, including Collette Dinnigan, Nobody Denim, Dita Von Teese and Myer. Known for his artistic visions, Maticevski has also worked with the National Trust of Victoria, curating and bringing together exhibitions at Como House. Maticevski’s career has since crossed the line time and time again between fashion and art when pieces of his work have been purchased as part of collections of the National Gallery of Victoria, Bendigo Gallery, Powerhouse Museum Sydney and the Fashion Institute of Design in Los Angeles (FIDM).
Having also collaborated with dance institutions, including The Australian Ballet, Maticevski has built a respected name for himself in several of Australia’s creative industries.
“I think having such a organic design process … gives me the ability to create outside the norm,” Maticevski said.
“I love art and I am always drawing inspiration from pieces, images, sculptures for my designs and mood boards.”
With his collections showcased at Fashion Week in Melbourne, Sydney and New York and a subsequent celebrity-studded line of fans demanding his mastery … it is no surprise to hear Maticevski isn’t one to take too much time for himself.
“I don’t take a lot of time off,” he said.
“I feel as though I thrive under a deadline and I’m (constantly) working on new pieces or travelling.”
Although, on the odd occasions he does find himself with some spare time, Maticevski said it was his family that the he chose to fill his time with.
So … who is the man behind Maticevski? He’s an artist; he’s a designer and he’s a visionary. But – most importantly – he is a man who is passionate about bringing out the beauty in the female form. Loyal to his clientele and fans alike, Maticevski’s desire is pure and driven from an unrivalled talent to see what we don’t see: a controlled chaos where drapes and cuts collide with brilliant sophistication and colours clash in perfect harmony.
He’s a marvel and a magician. Simple.
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