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Maticevski | Courtesy of Bendigo Art Gallery
Maticevski | Courtesy of Bendigo Art Gallery
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Toni Maticevski Brings A Dark Wonderland To Victoria, Australia

Picture of Ellie Griffiths
Updated: 11 January 2017
For the very first time in his career, renowned Australian fashion designer Toni Maticevski will be opening his archives and lookbooks for an exhibition at the Bendigo Art Gallery. Since launching his label – Maticevski – in 1999, he has grown into an international fashion icon dressing women like no other designer. Sourced from his archives, the Dark Wonderland exhibition will be displaying gowns, ready-to-wear garments and dresses worn by icons.

Curated by Australia’s oldest and largest regional art gallery, Bendigo Art Gallery, this is your chance to take a look at the unique skill that Maticevski holds in dressing the female body. From the manipulation of the traditional fashion silhouettes to bold sculptural garments, it’s easy to see how he gained worldwide acclaim so early in his career.

Maticevski
Maticevski | Courtesy of Bendigo Art Gallery

Having completed his Bachelor of Fashion Design with Honours at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT), he ventured to New York where he worked with Donna Karan, before relocating to Paris where he further broadened his distinct eye to detail at Cerruti Womenswear for two seasons. Identifying a clear sense of direction he wanted to take, he returned to Melbourne to develop his line. The following years resulted in exploring different cuts, fabric, finishes, texture and silhouette manipulation.

Although his line was heavily guided by instinct and hadn’t largely put his name out, he took his first collection to Paris, where Marthe Demoulins – the then-owner of Absinthe – purchased the line. With a spark of success, he continued to work with noted brands in Sydney and Melbourne, from Nobody Denim to Dita Von Teese and MYER, before working with the National Trust of Victoria curating exhibitions at Como House.

Maticevski
Maticevski | Courtesy of Bendigo Art Gallery

His success was noted very early on, winning the ‘New Designer Award’ in 2002 at the L’Oréal Melbourne Fashion Festival. Shortly after this achievement, he premiered his collection at the 2002 Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in Sydney. By 2006, having successfully shown his collections annually, he was invited to present his collections at the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week New York where he continued to showcase until 2010. Although quickly becoming a favourite for fashion starlets and stylists alike, he returned to Australia to focus on his private clientele.

Since his big break in the Big Apple, he developed shoe collections and continued to grow his custom bridal and couture lines. By 2012, he showcased his stronger brand at the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia where he was greatly applauded, making his beautifully crafted modern brand one not to be missed.

Maticevski
Maticevski | Courtesy of Bendigo Art Gallery

To further broaden his horizons, Maticevski balanced art and fashion into his repertoire, collaborating with dance institutions across the world. In collaborating with the Phillip Adams BalletLab, he designed the costumes for their productions Miracle (2009) and Aviary (2011) in which he won the Helpmann Award. Following this, The Australian Ballet commissioned designs for their campaigns, and his works have been represented in numerous private collections alongside the National Gallery of Victoria, the Powerhouse Museum Sydney and the Fashion Institute of Design in Los Angeles (FIDM).

Maticevski
Maticevski | Courtesy of Bendigo Art Gallery

This exhibition portrays the transformation his designs have made as their popularity continues to steer clear of the on-trend and commerciality. From the Monaco Gown worn by Princess Mary to the King’s 80th birthday to the specially commissioned gold lame gown worn at Eurovision 2014 by Jessica Mauboy, and those featured in some of the most prestigious fashion magazines in the world, Dark Wonderland aims to impress all who want to discover the designs created and sampled by Maticevski himself.

Sourced primarily through his extensive personal archive, this exhibition is a must for all fashionistas of high glamour.

Maticevski
Maticevski | Courtesy of Bendigo Art Gallery

Dark Wonderland is on display at the Bendigo Art Gallery from 13 August until 20 November 2016.

Bendigo Art Gallery, 42 View St, Bendigo VIC, Australia, +61 3 5434 6088