An exclusive interview with Toni Maticevski – fashion designer, fashion icon of Australia, the pride of the Macedonian community

– The love of glamour, art and instincts lead me through my work –

Eccentric elegance, this describes its work Australian fashion designer with Macedonian origin Toni Maticevski. He is in the world’s fashion runways for 17 years with its art – fashion unique performances adapted to the needs of demanding tastes.

Toni Maticevski is born in Melbourne where he graduated with honors from the first class of their University RMIT in Melbourne. After graduation he received the International Prize of the fashion group, but instead of New York and work in the group with Donna Karan, he went to Paris where he worked in the fashion house Cerruti. After returning to Melbourne 1998 he created own fashion line, and in 2002 he won the prestigious event L’Oreal Melbourne Fashion Festival, winning the award for best new designer. From then until today, Maticevski is part of all major fashion events in Australia. The occasion for the interview was the recent Fashion Week Mercedes Benz, his view of creation, today’s fashion trends, from where he draws his inspiration, which most of the world’s fashion icons influence his work, his relationship with Macedonian origin.

– Artist, designer, creator these are the three symbols that you characterize as the shortest flagship catwalk in Australia and the world. You’ve been part of many art events, dance events. Did you fashion and art have strict limit?

For me all of these things are about fashion. Its about being artistic in expressing my ideas. About movement and understanding the body, what to show off. What to enhance, what to give gravity and what to give exuberance. There are limits especially when considering wear ability. Even then its always about exploring and developing a new dialogue with the body and the wearer.

– Innovation is what you features you into the world of fashion trends today. Most often you find inspiration for your work and the new lines?

I think for me I find inspiration in doing. In making and in letting my ideas run freely. I try not to look at fashion, its distracting and can sometimes be a hindrance. Also a lot of people follow what others are doing and a lot of brands look the same. Its important to me that things I create come from me and they evolve with how I see women dress, how my team respond to it, what the mood and tone is for a collection. Its never about trends. Its never about being part of someone else’s vision.

– Your creations are known as unique fashion that is adapted to the configuration of the female body, comfort , and what gives them special feature is the presence of rare combinations of fabrics. Was it for you is important when creating new creations? Here Is decisive stamp on your work?

Absolutely it’s the main reason why I have been working on my brand for the past 17 years. A distinct vision and a unique point of view. Making sure that what I do is wearable, desirable, unique and special. Fabric always lends ideas as does the body. These two facets are the most important in working in fashion for me. Then things like history and cut and finish all come into play. I don’t know how I would describe my work except how someone put it recently. Eccentric elegance.

– Are recognized according to the balance that skillfully make between art and fashion. Is it hard to find the right balance and adapt to the requirements of the demanding tastes of the market?

I am led by my instincts always. For me its about what feels right, and making sure that there is a balance between the two. Both for me creatively and as a business – commercially. I love playing on that balance and making it swing different ways.

– They say that every artist, creative artist in his works remain part of herself. How you allow your emotions to important role in the work and at the same time to recognize the feelings and the sophisticated market and thereby impose?

Its something I don’t think about. I don’t analyze it. I think the minute you start delving into why you do things and how you think about them they are dead. And that’s also something for the viewer to consider not for me to feed and deliver on top of the work I create. What I do is give the viewer/wearer the feeling and let them feel what they want to. I cant tell a person how to feel as much as I cant tell a person how to love. So if someone finds a connection with what I do then that’s great. It doesn’t matter how I felt when I was making it to them. It only matters to me. And it matters to be that they feel something when they wear it.

– As a person with Macedonian ethnic origin, use as many details and apply fashion print of rich Macedonian ethno treasure ?

Not deliberately. I think there is something in my upbringing, my understanding of the culture which in ingrained in me and a part of me. Its like saying what part of me thinks like an Australian. I don’t when I work. I purely think of the work. If it references something, then it must have been something I have had with me. My experiences and history are my own. No ones will ever mirror mine and vice versa.

– Lets talk something about your private life. As you pass one day, how much time you dedicate to work ? Do you have enough time for friends, for loved ones?

I work a lot. I love working. I work on average 15-18 hours a day seven days a week. I try to find time for my loved ones and friends when I can. But I think everyone knows that I need to work. When I am with people I care about, I am with them completely. Its not often but it is complete. Now I have learnt that if I want to keep in touch with people I care about we have to find the time to work together otherwise its more like… see you in a year!

– Today the world is a small global village in which your creativity from the outset has been recognized as a unique and unavoidable. Do not be a child of the Macedonian family in multinational Australia is an advantage or disadvantage.

I used to think it was a disadvantage. I mean if anything I felt the drive to work harder and to prove to myself that it wasn’t a disadvantage. I’ve come to realize that I can do anything and it doesn’t matter where you come from, who you come from and the only thing that matters is that drive. And no one can stop that or foil it or even discourage it any more.

– When you’re supposed to choose their profession whether it was fashion design and why?

I chose fashion because of a few things. I always loved seeing my mum and my aunties getting dressed for special occasions. I thought it was the most magical thing in the world. To make oneself feel beautiful. I fell in love with the craft of fashion, the art of cutting and the art of romance when I discovered Christobal Balenciaga and Valentino. They influenced me the most. Their attention to fashion. To glamour, to the art. And so that’s why fashion.

Gordana Cvetanoska


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