Toni Maticevski is all grown up and there is simply no one like him. As the sun set on Sydney’s Barangaroo Reserve, the stunning sandstone cliff wall provided the perfect backdrop for Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia’s opening show. However, not the location, the celebrities, the crowd or the sponsorship overshadowed the inimitable talent of the Australian-Macedonian designer-cum-artist that is Maticevski.
His gowns remain his strong suit year after year, as Maticevski artistically manipulates shape, form and texture to create garments worthy of individual acclaim. His 42-piece Resort 2017 collection is equally as breathtaking - a little bolder, more gothic, but dramatic as always. The palette was white, black, navy, silver and gold with accents of golden yellow, powder blue and sky-high heels to boot.
As if one talented designer wasn’t enough, Maticevski collaborated with renowned Australian jeweler Ryan Storer to envelop the models in dazzling confections that showcased a darker side of the collection. Bejeweled necklaces were connected to multiple chains that draped delicately down the spine and joined crystallized handcuffs at the base. Gold choker necklaces were stacked miles high and adorned with both pointed and spherical details. Some models held solid silver ball gags with crystal cheek-holders in their mouths, topping off the glamourous-risqué vibe.
The world Maticevski creates stands on its own. Like the late Alexander McQueen, his fashion lives in its own world. In invokes emotion, tells a story of sensuality and extravagance. It makes you feel awe and transports you to an alternate reality. The shoes were sky-high, the runway a feat in itself, with numerous gloss white, gold and silver platforms. The music was ethereal and and the models other-worldly; their hair knotted and gelled, spidery eyelashes giving the look an edgy punch.
The merging of fashion and technology played a big role in Maticevski’s show, with Lenovo filming a 360-degree video of the event, opening up the exclusive affair to those who would not otherwise have access. The world of Maticevski was able to be flipped, zoomed and reversed, in an immersive video that changed the fashion week game. Not only was the 360-degree video available online, but it also captured the view from the models’ perspective, something unseen before. Maticevski believes that technology has become an extension of the self, changing the way we view the world. He worked with Lenovo to create not only the 360-degree video, but also visual projections on the cliff wall backdrop, in sync with musical elements of the show in its opening minutes.
Maticevski also launched a custom tablet created in collaboration with Lenovo, and feels that this was a natural extension of the Resort ’17 collection. “The language of tech is something that has always inspired my design process. The fabrics I work with possess tech elements in the way they are constructed and finished, and technology has changed the way I absorb the things that inspire me.” (Quote via Lenovo)
In previous years, Mercedez-Benz Fashion Week Australia was held in April, an awkward time for Australian designers to be showcasing collections to the world. It was too late for Fall/Winter orders to be made and too early to present Resort collections. The shift to an organized showing in May allows Australian designers to seize the opportunity of being in line with a global sales window. Maticevski certainly kicked off the new Resort season with a bang. His international success is proof that the move was definitely a step in the right direction for the Australian fashion industry.