Above: Toni Maticevski
Below: Models wearing Toni Maticevski Designs
With exquisite attention to detail and an instinctive natural eye for cut, texture, finish and silhouette, it is no surprise Toni Maticevski has become an icon of Australian fashion. Beginning his designing career working for Donna Karan in New York after graduating fashion design with honours at RMIT, Toni went on to hone and distinguish his skills, enabling a balance between art and fashion in his work.
In 2002, he won the L’Oreal Melbourne Fashion Festival ‘New Designer Award’ and soon after, presented his collection at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in Sydney. From here, Toni Maticevski was a highlight on the runway in Australia, and when, in 2006, Toni was invited to present his collection at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in New York, it was a pivotal moment in his career. This catapulted Toni into an even greater spotlight, becoming a quick favourite of stylists and celebrities alike. With a strong sense of imagination and a devil-may-care attitude, Toni continues to create timeless pieces and cement his position at the forefront of global fashion.
How would you sum up your label’s style?
Unexpected modern elegance with a sinister twist.
How would you describe your latest collection?
I think it’s taken on a more rebellious attitude. There’s a natural exploration that meets a distressed romance with a delicate collision of the past and its learnings onto a richer considered future.
Where do you seek inspiration?
I don’t necessarily seek inspiration. I am not inspired by a single perspective for any collection, rather I have ideas that are resting and that find their place in their time. I think this way the collections don’t have a date or a moment and they can traverse through time with other seasons.
What has been the greatest influence on your career?
I would have to say my customer. She is always considered in every part of what I do. I love their passion and excitement and their ability to see my ideas and form their own considered options. To me, this is more inspiring than anything. Who doesn’t want to see a woman feeling like she has her armour protecting and supporting her, and part of that is what I create.
Who has had an enduring impact or influence on your work? Do you have a ‘muse’?
I don’t have a muse. Again, I would have to say that I pay attention to my customer and the women I know who wear my designs. They really educate and inform me on so many levels. I get to experiment and they let me. I find there has been a natural connect in how we both develop and explore ideas together, and how attitude and style tastes change along the journey.
What is your philosophy when it comes to fashion?
I think personally it is one of themed beautiful crafts and art forms in that one gets to wear it and bring life to it. I think that sometimes the focus is directed to other things that are about position/ hierarchy/ money / power and influence and sometimes the fashion is the ugly sister added on to a system that is about a machine. But honestly, I think for me it’s about being imaginative and having that imagination inspire others.
What is your definition of beauty?
It’s like that feeling when you have the sun kiss your skin on an early morning glow. It’s a feeling you get from a person, from an object. The appearance is purely and totally a personal one.
What do you predict will be trending this season?
I have no idea. I don’t pay attention to trends. They’re boring and made up by people who have no imagination.
How do you think Australian fashion is viewed on the world stage?
I don’t believe that successful Australian designers are receiving recognition because they are from Australia. I think it’s all about how relevant their collections are in the overall fashion landscape and not because of where they are from. I think that people would be surprised to see so many successful Australian brands that are in the market place as opposed to the media space. There’s a bit of disconnect there.
What is your favourite fashion ‘must-have’?
For me personally, it’s a great coat. It’s one of those items that, if cut well, can really lift any look.