Underlying Toni’s work is a sensitive utilisation of colour and texture as well as an innate understanding of fabric and its applications. Sometimes complex draped pieces and at other times quietly simple they embody the designer’s continued exploration of tailoring and line, combining fluid and classical silhouettes executed with disciplined construction. Twisted, draped and structural designs are underscored by contrasting fabric textures and weights in a soft palette. Toni’s invariably glamorous designs are sculptural pieces inspired and supported by the outline of the body, which play with the seemingly contradictory ideas of structure and fluidity. With soft volumes in luxurious chiffons, silks, satins and tulle, creating emphasis and drama.
Asymmetrical and bias cut pieces allude to historical antecedents while he infuses his work with an emotional appeal, evoking notions of fragility, melancholy, otherworldliness. Incorporating clever and irregular panelling that reference couture cut techniques of the 1930s and 50’s and an astute preceision mirror tailoring are all elements to his work. Some dresses appears to twist around the body, highlighting his signature approach to construction and draping. Remarkable given his technical complexity with fabrication, it is a restrained work ethic that demonstrates Toni’s persistent and delicate refining of his craftsmanship through engagement with texture, techniques and dimensionality.
Since launching his label in 1999, Toni has retained a strong hands-on approach to his work, draping and sampling his designs himself. He balances the design and creation of a successful ready-to-wear label alongside his bespoke practice catering to one off commissions. His particular mix of high glamour and exacting technical know-how, coupled with a restrained and sleek tailoring have earned him local and international recognition. Driven by his desire to continually experiment, Toni’s work exhibits considerable diversity from one season to the next. Choosing to eschew mainstream trends, he acknowledges that rather than trying to make his collections commercial, he prefers to work on ideas that are creatively challenging and likely to push his designs further.
Toni has been a regular highlight of fashion weeks both in Australia and in New York. After showing successfully and having established such a unique and individual approach to fashion and his brand, Toni returned to Melbourne where he has established himself and works with a tight team all of whom are slowly re-establishing the brand and direction locally and internationally.
Toni Maticevski designed the costumes for Rafael Bonachela’s Les Illuminations, which premiered at the Studio, Sydney Opera House in August 2013. Les Illuminations will return to the stage in 2015 alongside a new work of as part of Triptych at the Roslyn Packer Theatre from the 25 September – 10 October.
IMAGE: Marinco Kojdanovski reproduced courtesy of the Powerhouse Museum Sydney.