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  • Food & Fun  /  News  /  Uncategorised

    Getting to know Toni Maticevski

    By Annabel Ross 12 December 2017

    Since starting his own label in 1999, Toni Maticevski has gone on to become one of Australia’s most beloved and respected fashion designers, renowned for garments that are as elegant and feminine as they are fresh and modern. His creations have been worn by the likes of Gigi Hadid, Olivia Palermo and Kim Kardashian West, he’s received glowing reviews at New York Fashion Week, and for the past 17 years he has based his showroom in Paris, befitting the level of international attention his label has attracted. We spoke to him about juggling life between Paris and Melbourne, where his label is based.

     

    How much time do you spend a year in Paris?

    More time than I used to – I’ll go at least three or four times a year now, for two to three weeks at a time. Mostly I’m in a showroom or in appointments but still it’s good to be there.


    What’s your favourite Parisian activity?

    I love walking in Paris, it’s probably the only city where I don’t get bored walking for three or four hours. I get lost and love discovering another path or another view or another secret location.


    Where do you stay?

    I mix it up every time. I used to live on Rue Oberkampf for a few years, I loved the area and my surrogate French grandmother still lives there. Since then, however, I’ve explored the Left Bank; near Opera; and near the Canal Saint-Martin. All have such distinct energies.


    Where do you like to eat/drink/shop?

    To eat, I’m not fancy, I am happy going down to the local Franprix for a small bite or going to a posh restaurant or little bistro. I do love Ahani on Rue Volta, and I love going and discovering people’s favourite places with them. I used to be at Montreuil markets and Clignancourt every weekend but things are scarce and it’s not as much of an adventure as it used to be.

     

    For how long have you been showing clothes in Paris in a showroom?

    I have been showing on and off since 2000. I first moved to Paris at the end of 1998 and lived there on and off for nearly 3 years. So what does that make it.. about ten years, no nearly 20. OMG!

     

    What was it like in the beginning?

    The first time I showed in Paris was about 2000 when I rocked up with a suitcase of collections and was showing it to stores like Anna Luisa, and to Marthe Demoulins from Absinthe, and Sarah Andelman at Colette, then I focused on the US for a while. I came back in June of 2013 to show my first resort collection. It was such an exciting time.

     

    Why was this July the right time to present your first actual show in Paris?

    Things came together and it felt like the right thing to do. There was a lot of emotion connected to it and I had always wanted to do it so I just went with my instincts.  I find the couture season a different energy to the ready-to-wear season, everyone is in a better, more relaxed mood, Paris is pretty much always beautiful too….

     

    You then had a “presentation” for spring/summer 2018. Was this an intentionally different approach to your July resort show?

    It was. I wanted it to feel a bit more theatrical and a more intimate and I wanted the message to resonate on an emotional level. Fashion is so instant these days that it’s forgotten pretty much immediately and everyone is looking to the next trendy thing. But I like the idea that clothes are about making people feel different, not just look different.

     

    Any plans for making your debut on the official schedule as yet?

    It’s been something I have looked at and thought about for a long time, one of the main reasons I have resisted is because following the rules that apply to it would mean that I can’t be the label and the designer I am. I would have to restrict my practice and my brand to the confines of the rules and for me that doesn’t feel right.

     

    At the same time, maybe there’s some advantage in bypassing the traditional avenues, as you’ve done so far. It worked for Viktor & Rolf.

    It can work. It can also sometimes paralyse you as you have to work harder, be stronger, be more resilient and be more unwavering. All these things require so much determination and unfortunately, sometimes Australia – which is one of the most beautiful places on earth – is not the easiest launching pad for a designer or any creative who won’t leave. But deep down I know that I have been able to do what I do successfully, much to the surprise and sometimes indignation of people!

     

    How’s your French? Would you ever consider moving here permanently?

    My French is I’d say about 50% ok. I really need to brush up on it. Sometimes it’s amazing and I feel confident and comfortable, and at other times my brain just won’t go there. I love Paris and I think it’s my home. Even though I don’t live there now I feel like that’s the place for me in the end.

     

    What’s the biggest difference you notice between French and Australian women when it comes to style?

    I think the biggest difference is probably a generational one. I notice that Australian women are more experimental and often more willing to step outside their notions of personal style. Whereas some French women have an adopted almost a national sense of style. It’s steeped in codes set out by the French designers like Chanel, Yves Saint Laurent, Guy Laroche, etc. It’s funny but I see women who really don’t go outside these codes of dress in France. It’s pretty amazing but sometimes stale. I think Australia can feel more vibrant and experimental and alive.