Certain moments in fashion take you by surprise. Make you Breathless. Send Chills down the spine. Chanel Couture, Spring/Summer 2013. Galliano's Diorient Express. McQueen's "13" collection. Vuitton's Spring 2013 "Escalator" collection... Clothes that will live in your mind forever. That is what happened to me upon stumbling onto the work of Toni Maticevski for his Resort 2016 collection. I was Stopped, Dead! The clothes are Flamboyant and reach a synergistic entangling of both Sharp, Angular Modernity and Lush, Baroque Opulence. It's entirely disconcerting and thoroughly Brilliant! One can feel the same kind of boundary pushing spirit and sense of style that lights upon the work of Gareth Pugh (another of my favorites!) Maybe not as Dangerous as Pugh, but just as Elaborate in scope. Perhaps, More so!
Just one look at some of the pieces and one is rendered totally agog with admiration for the skill facile technique on display. Primarily, an Evening designer, Maticevski does not suffer in any way for lack of Daywear. In fact, it's this Tightrope like fusion of Idiosyncratic Daywear in amongst the Exuberant and Dazzling evening concoctions that makes him a cut well above the rest! His daywear may not be the Typical ideas of outfits for when the Sun is up, but then again, Galliano and McQueen's Ideas of Day clothes weren't always conventional either! And strangely enough for me, the guy who hollers his loudest about designers showing only Confectionary, Ooey-Gooey, Sugary Evening clothes, I am going to, for this time out alone, focus on the Evening side of things for that's where the most magic happens.
Firstly, Maticevski played around brilliantly with proportions and throwing them askew in weird and visually stimulating ways, Wide on top of Wide, Oversized Flared scrolled ruffles blooming forth in swaying expanses on top with a Slender, gracefully body-limning columnar bottom! Sproutings of those same ruffles extended from the sides of pencil skirts or Tech-y Pinhole Mesh was draped into huge Rococo pufballs of Ballgowns. There was so much going on that some pieces could be seen to have distracted from the dialogue of the collection, but all those artistic jetés onto outlying ideas only served to show how expansive Maticevski's mind is and with a little taming and editing, how much a force of fashion nature he could be!
When choosing some pieces to highlight, one is truly gobsmacked as to where to start! Should one first mention the penultimate look? A Silvery, Shimmering Grey Opera gown with a liquid train and slim body with a bodice of Scrolled Ruffles, it was Extravagant and Opulent, but Modern to the Nth degree! Or the off-the-shoulder column in White that exploded at the top in Black, Silver and White Ruffles anchored by a Black band above them? Or the best of the bunch, and mainly because of it's Austere simplicity, a one-shoulder Black Ballgown draped at the side of the skirt, it had a Balenciaga pureness of form to it, but was just twisted enough to be sure that it looked to the future and not the past! There was more... SO MUCH MORE! But in one of those rarest of cases, Words do these clothes no justice. The evidence is clearly there for all to see... I invite you to do yourself a favour and take a look. If you don't feel the breath catch in your chest at least once... Well then, Nothing I could say would be of help!