It frustrates me, as I look back through the past few runway shows of Australian designer Toni Maticevski, to find that the past three (of four) Vogue reviews unnecessarily attacking the designer. Here's why...
I was browsing my Vogue Runway app for inspiration, looking at the recent shows, when I fell in love with Maticevski's Resort 2017 collection. It features striking event-wear in crisp whites, inky blacks and a smattering of gold and lemony yellows. The silhouettes are gorgeous and unique and there is a beautiful movement to the garments.
Yet the Australian designer is dismissed for 'struggl[ing] as an editor [of his work]' and is said to 'be more specific [in his design direction]'.
While these criticisms can be seen as a commentators guide to creating a more succinct and definitive body of work, and by extension brand, the comments that say Maticevski's work is 'too out there', 'too-strict or too-flouncy' and that he 'would be wise to commit himself completely... to simpler pieces' rile and perplex me.
Fashion is an art form. Sure there are the designers who specialise in wearable, trend-conscious, off the rack garments that we feel comfortable trying on, wearing to work, uni and out and about; but there are also the bold designers; the ones who aren't worried about stepping on anyones toes and who are in this world to passionately create and share their creations.
Maybe Maticevski's dresses aren't the most comfortable or easy to walk in (not that I'd know, I'm living a on a bartender/student/traveller budget here) and they absolutely ARE wild and 'out there', but why is that a crime?
Vogue is the word of authority in the fashion world, and they have the ability to raise up those who are alternate in their ideas and exceptional in their execution. So why are they putting them down?
I understand the need for critics, but I believe the need for an appreciation of ingenuity and beauty (a far cry from some of today's 'fashion') to be far more important.
Maticevski is a master draper; his designs are fabric made art. They are simultaneously geometric and flowing, confronting yet elegant. Not many people are graced with the abilities of this man and his audacious collections should be applauded and admired.
In his own words 'As fucked up as this world is becoming, I have to believe in the magic and power of beauty and creating.'
Here, illustrated, are my favourite designs from his Resort 2017 collection, art as art. Let it be beautiful.