Evolution: Toni Maticevski 2017 Resort collection

Toni Maticevski; a name synonymous with modern lines, luscious fabrics, impeccable craftsmanship and here at LOVE TWAIN HQ., a rather embarrassing fashion moment, but we will get to that in a second.

Maticevski encapsulates both the hauntingly romantic and the edgy in perfect harmony to create garments that can only be likened to wearable works of art. Pushing the boundaries of design, each season reveals unique engineering of patterns, manipulation of materials and intricate draping to create technical masterpieces. The kind of pieces that leave you feeling all sorts of lovesick.

More impressive than the sea of couture gowns which make their way down each runway is Toni’s ability to make women stand on their own. Not drowned, but perfectly draped and hugged by each creation, Maticevski’s designs celebrate the female essence and form. Despite the intricate and avant-garde nature of each look, the model is never secondary to her garment. Each piece is wearable and a celebration of all that makes women feel beautiful and powerful. The woman leads, the dress follows…

Having worked in fashion for a few years now, we have been fortunate enough to attend some incredible shows and pick the brains of the some of the industry’s most formidable talent – but there is something about that Maticevski magic that simply makes you lose your cool.

Back in the day when LOVE TWAIN was first starting out, we were invited to watch Toni speak at an industry event. In my head, our first meeting was going to be what fashion dreams are made of. One in which I gracefully walked over, introduced myself and asked a few questions with fresh angles, you know the type that would take the designer away from the mundane.  In reality however all I could assemble was “ Hi, I’m sorry my hands are clammy, I’m nervous, how was your flight?”

– FML!

A few years following that rather traumatic, soul-crushing moment (ok… maybe I’m being a little overdramatic, Toni is far too nice to make anyone feel bad), I have come to accept that some designers will always make you feel like a 12-year-old girl lining up for a One Direction concert. After all, fashion is meant to make us feel a little deeper, to evoke emotion, to stimulate the senses and to make us question the how and why. So after attending the MBFWA16 opening show, we once again walked away feeling inspired, somewhat emotional (if you haven’t felt goosebumps tingling up your spine during a fashion show then we question what shows you have been attending), and most importantly we wanted to know more. To dissect, question and find out the inspiration and process of putting together the collection.

With the 2017 Resort collection soon to be hanging in every fashion and art lovers wardrobe, we asked Toni a question or 10 about the EVOLUTION of the collection. Sit back, read and prepare to crush hard. *No flight questions involved… 

We’d love to know the textiles used in this collection and where they’re from?
I source fabrics from all over the place. I have agents I deal with and fabric mills from all corners of the world. I work with what they have and sometimes we develop our own cloth/ trims and finishes. This season was about seeing how technical we could get with natural fibres. We washed bonded shirting, touched on parachute style fabrics, plastic filaments woven into silk, wax coatings on linen and sheen points on bonded linen/jersey bases.

How important are textiles to you and the brand?
I think they are pivotal. They encapsulate the design to give it a different mood and feel. It can bring an edge or a romance. Depending on the shape and cut. I constantly strive on the limits of fabric development within a collection.

Talk us through the colours in this collection?
I worked with a tonal palette. It’s something that I often do and re-work. Shades of grey, milk, putty, off whites and textures abound. And then there are highlight colours like the yellow and pale blue. But they also act as tones to some colours.

Are there any special production methods used in this collection?
In terms of finishing, we always have a definite polish in our finish. Things can be worn inside out. Luxe silk linings and inner construction are hidden.

Were there any pieces that didn’t make the collection? If so, why?
In terms of selling, yes. We look out a large chunk of styles. The fabric wasn’t polished enough or didn’t feel right in the handle. There were some shapes that were purely concepts and led the runway. But not always a practical transition.

No way- how do you cull pieces from a collection?
I kind of know some things don’t feel special, or if they do, the fabric wasn’t right for the cut. Sometimes the decoration is not practical.

How do you know what your customer wants – what do they crave from Maticevski?
I don’t. I just make suggestions every season that hopefully they can fall in love with. I know that once they try it on they are transformed.

We’re all about the evolution – can you talk us through the process of making one of the pieces…
There are very different processes for every piece. Some start as sketched and morph into patterns and then samples, some start as concepts on a body, some start with the fabric, some start and develop in my head as I am creating something and that initial idea gets tossed out. But I do them all. I draw, drape, cut. sew, make, finish. That’s my job as designer and creative director.

How many hands would one garment pass through from sketching to retail?
That’s a different matter. Sometimes only two or three and sometimes up to 10-15 hands. It depends of the intricacy or detail of the finishing and if things need to be done in stages like so many of the pieces I do require. For example, part pressing before finishing and then some handwork and final touch ups.

Collection favourite?
I do love the big Rebels Full Skirt. The technique was a fluke meant to be for another piece but things morph and it became this mass of crushed papery cotton.

Describe your design aesthetic?
I think its modern, there is a touching of the past and a speed shutter into the future.

The Maticevski woman is…
Too many to list. Too many to narrow down. Multifaceted.

If this collection was a city, it would be:
Paris, but the scene from Inception where it folds over on itself.

The initial inspiration for this collection came from…
A mood- dark, sinister, elegant.

Do you get inspired by textile or shape or both? How does the process evolve…
All things inspire me. But mostly a mood. I need to feel a mood with each collection. That then drives the fabric choices, the colours, the shapes, the music, the films, the flowers and everything else around it.

Maticesvki magic. 

All photos courtesy of the ridiculously talented Sonny Vandevelde