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PEOPLE will have the chance to delve into the archives of one of the country’s most critically acclaimed fashion designers with an exhibition coming exclusively to Bendigo.
Maticevski: Dark Wonderland opens at Bendigo Art Gallery on Saturday and is the first solo exhibition of the work of Toni Maticevski.
Bendigo Art Gallery director Karen Quinlan said she first floated the idea of an exhibition with Mr Maticevski a few years ago and the pieces had now fallen into place.
“All designers offer individual style and have their strengths, but for me, it just felt like the right time to do this,” Ms Quinlan said.
Mr Maticevski, whose designs had been included in previous exhibitions in Bendigo, said the favourable impression the gallery had left on him in the past had encouraged the collaboration.
“I think every exhibition I’ve come to in Bendigo, I’ve been blown away by how beautifully it’s been curated or displayed,” Mr Maticevski said.
The exhibition provides an insight into the designer’s 20-year career and includes key garments, jewellery, shoes and accessories, runway footage, footage of his designs on the bodies of dancers, visual diaries, sketchbooks and design books.
Some of his most recent collection, not long off the catwalks of Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia, can also be seen.
The objects on display were selected by Mr Maticevski and the gallery’s senior curator Leanne Fitzgibbon from thousands in the designer’s archive.
Ms Fitzgibbon said Mr Maticevski’s work was diverse but there was a distinctive signature to his designs, with his experimentation with fabrics and attention to detail.
“He does what’s right for him, he’s not led by trends, he’s continued to push himself to see what’s possible,” Ms Fitzgibbon said.
Mr Maticevski told the Bendigo Advertiser he was keen to show the full extent of his oeuvre to audiences who might not have been exposed to his earlier work.
When it came to curating the exhibition, he said he wanted to display not only the evening gowns that he loved doing and came naturally to him, but the range of his designs.
Mr Maticevski said the thing he found most exciting about creating garments was not drawing the designs, but understanding the techniques that would bring those designs to life.
Mr Maticevski completed a Bachelor of Fashion Design with Honours at RMIT before working with Donna Karan in New York and Cerruti in Paris.
After returning to Melbourne, he launched his own label in 1999 and in 2002, won the L’Oreal Melbourne Fashion Festival’s new designer award.
In addition to presenting collections both in Australia and internationally, Mr Maticevski has also designed costumes for such dance institutions as Phillip Adams Dance Lab, a collaboration that saw him score a Helpmann Award alongside milliner Richard Nylon.
Mr Maticevski’s designs have found their way into the collections of Bendigo Art Gallery, the National Gallery of Victoria, Powerhouse Museum in Sydney and the Fashion Institute of Design in Los Angeles.
The Dark Wonderland exhibition will be complemented by a number of events and workshops and runs until November 20.
For more information or to book, visit the gallery website.