Designer Interviews

Toni Maticevski
Designer

May 11, 2015

Award-winning, Melbourne-based Toni Maticevski offers exquisitely designed and crafted garments in beautiful feminine shapes and fabrics displaying his attention to detail and skill in dressing the female form. His garments are designed with skill that manipulates traditional fashion silhouettes, displaying Toni Maticevski mastery of drape and cut. The Maticevski brand is recognised as beautifully crafted and designed with artisanal attention to detail and exceptional quality. Since 1999, the label has become one of Australia’s finest and proudest design talents, with Parlour X forging a relationship with Maticevski since he first began in the industry.

Was it your life-long dream to become a fashion designer?

I don’t remember it being the only thing I wanted to do. Playing piano, drawing and painting, dance were things I was drawn to… fashion became a different outlet where I could do all of the above in some way.

Did you study fashion?

Yes I did at RMIT.

Describe the Maticevski woman in three words

Timeless, open, unique.

What motivated you to start a label at such a young age?

I think I had a real idea of doing something that didn’t feel like everyone else. I like the idea of creating something which wasn’t just about clothes, but about how to make people feel, to connect to clothes and that experience of wearing them that was the main motivation.

With numerous awards to your name, is there a career highlight that stands out?

Awards are nice, but I have come to realise that women wanting to wear my clothes is better than any statue I can receive.

Where do you draw influence for each new collection?

It differs, it’s sometimes the fabrics, sometimes my mood that dictates a palette, and then again I don’t know how to pinpoint it. I have been lucky enough to be gifted with imagination and being creative which means that things are soaked up and flower in my head nearly every minute of the day.

What do you love most about your latest collection?
I love that there are elements that can be dressed up or down. The finish in everything is so distinctly Maticevski and un-comporomised. It’s about growing on a woman’s desire to feel beautiful and important in her skin, in her clothes.

What is the most valuable lesson you have learned since starting Toni Maticevski?

Always be kind. Always pay people, Always go by instinct.

What advice would you give to a young emerging designer?

There are too many people with advice. Only take and listen to the one you ask for.

Are business skills as important as one’s design skills?

Absolutely. I have come to respect the business side and it actually feeds my creativity now. I found it so hard at the beginning. That’s part of it being exciting, learning new things all the time. I mean isn’t that what fashion is about… New things, new ways, new ideas?

If you had your time again, would you do anything differently?

Some things yes and then again time has a place for everything we do. And sometimes time to get to where you are is what it needs to be.

How long have you known Eva Galambos?
I don’t know if I should say … without giving our ages away. Suffice it to say since I first launched my label. She was a force back then, and she has continued to be a force; striving for a unique, individual, luxury retail experience. When everyone else wavered, she held her nerve and her ground.

Are there any famous clients you love to dress?

Yes but most are now my friends and I dress them because I admire them and they love what I do. Celebrity can be a tricky game and not always a win.

Why is it so important to show at Paris fashion week?
I find that everyone converges on Paris. It’s the most visited by the buyers and media, and it’s where we do most of our business (from a wholesale level).

Describe your own personal style?

I’m on the cusp of sporty, suited and relaxed. Basically I can’t stick to a theme when it comes to dressing myself.

Do you have a favourite designer?

Locally, too many I mean to name them will take up the rest of the page, internationally I always loved Galliano and McQueen, probably as they were at the pivotal part of my understanding of fashion. Mr. Valentino has and will always be someone I admire as a design vocabulary, and then there are the masters, Balenciaga, Vionnet, Madame Gres.

What is next for Maticevski in 2019?
We have just launched a series of evening and cocktail bags that also cross over into dressy day options. They are pretty fun and have a great spirit to them. And then it’s just working on a new collection … when am I not?

You can find Toni Maticevski on Instagram @toni_maticevski

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Headquartered in the iconic St Johns Church in Sydney Australia, Parlour X has been awarded the 2015 Prix De Marie Claire Award for best fashion boutique, a ringing endorsement for this Australian fashion favourite.

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