[Exhibition] Toni Maticevski at the Bendigo Art Gallery

Have you seen the Toni Maticevski exhibition? If not, I have some pics for you, and please know that the gowns are much more impressive in person.

What: Toni Maticevski, Dark Wonderland – fashion exhibition
When: until 15th January, 2017, Tuesday to Sunday 10am – 5pm
Where: Bendigo Art Gallery 42 View Street, Bendigo, VIC 3550
Cost: $8-12, school students free see the site for ticketing options.
See more at: the Bendigo Art Gallery website.

There’s a lot in this exhibition, with a variety of styles but there are a few recurring themes: the use of vintage and/or futuristic materials (for example silk lace, jet beads and perforated neoprene) to create historical silhouettes in unexpected ways. Whilst there are familiar elements that have been borrowed from styles from the past, they’re constructed in very modern ways.

For example, a ruffled late ’30s tea dress style reveals external seams. Edwardian style lingerie dresses which are halternecked and midriff bearing for contemporary ’70s disco dollies. Perhaps extravagant Cthulhu-styled tentacles created out of hundreds of fabric tubes.

The artisanship is evident, and the creativity on display. There is a love of natural materials and subtlety of colour (so much so I thrilled to see the occasional vibrant colour). It would appear that Mr Maticevski follows the Vionnet tradition of applying fabric to a model or mannequin to create a 3D sculptural effect and then snipping or applying ornamentation as desired.

The effect of seeing so many of these gowns together is captivating: there’s an enthralling mix of old and new, with nods towards a desire for beauty that is never restrained by it. So the silhouettes, whilst generally feminine are sometimes bulky and unflattering.

There is a flow to the styles, so showing them on mannequins doesn’t reveal their true nature, so I was glad to see there were many images of them being worn, and bringing them to life.

Whilst I was taking the photos, I was painfully aware of the inability to do them justice – the glass cases and lighting produces a lot of ghosting, and the backgrounds at times detract (or absorbs them). I tried to make that work for the photos. It’s best to go and see for yourself, and look up close and admire the detailing while you can.

It’s like a Golden Era of Hollywood designer like Adrian created costumes for a science fiction film set in a 1930s ballroom.




img_7197 My favourite piece: as delicate as a butterfly wing. So much work has gone into this beautiful top.




















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