Think over-the-top evening gowns, shimmering sequins, elegant silk and divine romance – Toni Maticevski’s impeccable exhibition Dark Wonderland has it all.

A literal dark wonderland, the Maticevski exhibition on display at Bendigo’s Art Gallery is an absolute must.

The exhibition – which includes a range of Maticevski’s early work to his most recent creations – begins with a selection of Maticevski’s best and is curated in such a captivating manner it is impossible not to be amazed as dress after dress fills each room.

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First, an elegant arrangement of delicate whites and striking silvers and greys; gowns of structure and style for celebrities and runways alike. Followed by resort wear, where colour meets digitally printed polyester, power-mesh and glass beading to define a uniquely desirable world of its own.

Next, a stand-out cascading gown comprising of silk voile, silk organza and viscose sculptures its mannequin. An attached overlaying swing-top protrudes from the neck, fanned and structured by tule and beautifully embroided with flowers. The rightfully-named Monaco Gown, as worn by Crown Princess Mary of Denmark for the 80th birthday celebrations of her father-in-law, and Jessica Mauboy’s gold and silver interwoven dress, designed for her 2014 Eurovision performance are also among favourites on display.

A feature included was used to showcase a more playful interpretation of Maticevski’s creations: costume design. Contemporary ensembles worn by the likes of the Australian Ballet, Phillip Adams’ BalletLab (in collaboration with milliner Richard Nylon) and the Sydney Dance Company are displayed – black leotards with sheer panels; draping skirts and adorning feathers.

Also on show are a collection of original sketches and design notes from the diaries and notepads of Maticevski himself, showing the incredible amount of effort each design requires.

The latest 2017 resort collection boasts fabric detail and natural fibres, quirky tech-elements and a variety of materials (including nylon, silk, elastane and polyester). Maticevski brings focus to experimentation, sculpture, body forms and silhouettes.

A fabric artist to say the least, Maticevski has compiled some of Australia’s best designs and continues to impress with his eye for detail and modern vision for timeless yet time-conscious fashion. His designs continue to gain recognition on a global scale, and the Dark Wonderland is but just a minuet insight in to the influence of Toni Maticevski’s unquestionable brilliance.


By Alanah Frost

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