A wonderland of experimentation, colour, creativity and beauty.

Sculpted from traditional and contemporary fabrics, the work of Toni Maticevski in the current exhibition at Bendigo Art Gallery showcases the incredible talent of this Melbourne-based designer. A wonderland of experimentation, colour, creativity and beauty, sourced almost entirely from Maticevski’s extensive personal archive, this stunning exhibition has now been extended until the January 15. 

EXHIBITION EXTENDED: Dark Wonderland, at Bendigo Art Gallery, will remain on display until January 15: Photo: WILLIAM CONROY.

EXHIBITION EXTENDED: Dark Wonderland, at Bendigo Art Gallery, will remain on display until January 15: Photo: WILLIAM CONROY.

The gallery spaces have been transformed, with Maticevski: Dark Wonderland presenting more than 60 ensembles in a dramatic installation that reflects the designer’s love of the past, balanced with cutting-edge innovation. Moving image including runway highlights and interviews with Maticevski complement the display, revealing his contribution to performing arts as well fashion design. 

Toni Maticevski has achieved international acclaim for his masterful approach to the manipulation of traditional fashion silhouettes and often unexpected use of materials and fabrics. A graduate of RMIT, Maticevski worked with Donna Karan in New York before moving to Paris to work at Cerruti for two seasons. Returning to Melbourne, Maticevski continued to develop his unique design philosophy, launching his own label in 1999. In 2002 he won the L’Oreal Melbourne Fashion Festival New Designer Award, before premiering his collection at Mercedes-Benz fashion Week. Since then, he has presented a succession of successful collections both nationally and internationally.

Maticevski’s ability to challenge and reinvent techniques and to push the possibilities of fabric is mesmerising, and it is this uncommon thread that weaves its way through each of his collections. Highlights in the exhibition include the Calculated Neoprene Gown, a striking example of Maticevski’s foray into the possibilities of neoprene – a rubber with bonded jersey. More commonly associated with the construction of wetsuits, neoprene is a heavy and challenging fabric that Maticevski has transformed into an elegant evening gown and other selected items.

Another beautiful example in the exhibition is the Monaco Gown. With its fuller skirt and cinched in waist, this garment is an excellent example of Maticevski’s unique approach to the classic silhouette. An overlay with abstract floral in gold foil has been hand draped and attached to the front of the garment, with a subtle asymmetry. This design was selected to be worn by Crown Princess Mary of Denmark for the Women’s Weekly magazine shoot in October 2013, and was so loved by the Princess she acquired the gown. The Crown Princess wore it again to the 80th birthday celebration of her father-in-law, Prince Henrik of Denmark.

Also included in the exhibition are costumes designed by Maticevski.

Maticevski: Dark Wonderland is open 10am – 5pm, Tuesday – Sunday, and all public holidays except Christmas Day. 

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