VAMFF NEWS

Maticevski’s Dark Wonderland Unveiled

“Dream a little more than you’re supposed to, dress up and feel wonderful” - Toni Maticevski.

The works of Toni Maticevski have come to life in a new retrospective exhibition hosted by the Bendigo Art Gallery which opened on Saturday 13 August.

Maticevski, a long-time friend of the Festival, took out our National Designer Award in 2002 and went on to feature as the Red Carpet Runway solo designer at the Festival in 2012. The Festival is honoured to feature in the Dark Wonderland exhibition through the display of original runway footage.

Maticevski  Dark Wonderland_Commodity Gown FW15

The first solo exhibition for Maticevski, this is an insight into the designer’s 20-year career showcasing key garments, jewellery, shoes, accessories and design books.

“Leanne Fitzgibbon the Curator was a little overwhelmed I think of the volume in the archive,” says Maticevski. “There are some 3000 plus pieces and I think even then she probably only saw about half of it,” he explained. We edited together, some of the themes changed a bit and she was so incredible to work with,” he explained.

Karen Quinlan, Director of the Bendigo Art Gallery, has been a long admirer of Maticevski's and it was while attending a runway show at the Festival a few years ago that the idea for an exhibition came to her. "I just asked him the question and he said 'okay'," Ms Quinlan said.

Maticevski Dark Wonderland_Monaco Gown SS14

From the manipulation of the traditional fashion silhouettes to bold sculptural garments, it’s easy to see how art and design influence his life.

“I love art, I try and buy a piece that I love at least once a year. I love being part of artistic institutions like Sydney Dance Company and Phillip Adams Ballet Lab. I love working with creative like Alice Topp – Choreographer for dance and artists/ photographers and designers. It really is all encompassing,” says Maticevski.

Maticevski said that what he wants people to take away from the Dark Wonderland exhibition is that, “It's ok to work hard for things you love to do. To be passionate and let creativity drive you. To dream a little more than you’re supposed to, to dress up and feel wonderful."

Exhibition highlights include the gown Princess Mary wore to King of Denmark’s 80th birthday and the gold-lamé gown worn by Jessica Mauboy for Eurovision 2014. “I’m always amazed when I see women who love a piece. And when they wear it I know they love it,” says Maticevski.

“I’ve made special pieces for celebrities and they haven’t worn them, and I know that it's because I haven’t been able to connect with them and they too haven’t been able to find something in it. And so when it happens its magic for all of us,” explained Maticevski.

Maticevski Dark Wonderland_Take-A-Bow Resort15

One of the keys to his International success is his ability to take risks. From ventures to New York to work with Donna Karan, to relocating to Paris to further perfect his craft at Cerruti Womenswear. Now back in Melbourne, he continues to develop his unique design philosophy.

“Every collection is pretty much a risk. You can risk playing it safe, you can risk taking a chance, you can risk mixing it up, you can risk taking it somewhere else. Risk is good, as long as it keeps changing,” he explains.

Taking risks is one thing but the advice he’d offer emerging Australian designers is subjective, “I think it depends on what a designer wants out of their career,” says Toni.

“I have seen so many people looking for different things, some are good and some are great. Some get lost because they don’t know how far to push themselves and settle. Some get pushed too far by others and then get left dangling. I think it's staying true and challenging that for yourself”.

“I have seen so many people looking for different things, some are good and some are great. Some get lost because they don’t know how far to push themselves and settle. Some get pushed too far by others and then get left dangling. I think it's staying true and challenging that for yourself”.

tonimaticevski-lineup

Known for his eclectic music taste, we asked what was on his playlist for the drive up to Bendigo? “This trip I pulled out a few old favourites. Ciara, Beyonce – B-Day, Chris Brown, Jeff Buckley and I think they were it. On repeat for most of the drives back and forth” says Maticevski, laughing.

The exhibition coincides with the launch of The Elegant Rebel, a book featuring more than 200 images and illustrations spanning Maticevski’s career. With contributions from respected editors, actresses and influencers, fashion lovers and Maticevski fans alike will covet this insightful and inspiring book.

A truly iconic Australian designer, there is no chance of slowing down for Toni Maticevski.

“There are so many things on the horizon. I have learnt not to talk about them until I know I can activate them or they are in motion. Some things and ideas need to be held close to your home/ heart/ head. It's ok to keep people guessing,” he says.

The Dark Wonderland exhibition will show at the Bendigo Art Gallery from August 13 to November 20.

For more information or to book, visit bendigoartgallery.com.au

 

Images supplied by Bendigo Art Gallery & hero image by Noni Hyett.

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