Posted in Nails, Style on April 18, 2015 by

Earlier this week, for Toni Maticevski, the pressure was on.

Last year at MBFWA, he blew away fashion critics with his collection of fluorescent orange, monochromatic mesh and live flower orchids carried in models’ mouths.

This year, Maticevski delivered. And, then some.

“It’s a show so I thought, “Let’s make it a show!” says Maticevski. “I really tried to be creative with this particular collection and explore the elements of volume, silhouettes and texture and how that plays out between nature and space.”

Indeed, the king of couture’s epic presentation of grand scale proportion was just that: epic.

A celebration of unchartered territories and cloudscapes, this season, the 38-year-old designer sent contoured dresses with 3-D details, folds, twists and tucks — furnished by sheer silks, sequin-covered creations and armour-like shoulder pads — down the colossal white runway.

Meanwhile, orb-like jewellery made from resin was created for the show in collaboration with Dinosaur Designs. Skin was kept raw and foundation minimal by master of maquillage, Nigel Stanislaus, while strict ballerina buns – coiffed by Jayne Wild – were softened, but also made futuristic by being covered with coloured latex. Nails, on the other hand (excuse the pun), saw a series of shades and textures meticulously painted onto talons by OPI’s Colour Ambassador, Melisa Giraldo.

There was an extraordinary technicality to Maticevski’s fabrications, which has become something of a signature for the Australian designer of Macedonian descent, however, he’s quick to be self-effacing.

Maticevski, who believes it’s important to find the balance between creative and commerce, also admits there isn’t a specific inspiration when it comes to this collection.

“There never is,” he admits. Instead, Maticevski, who is as humble as he is handsome, takes an organic approach to design. “I just design and the fabrics ended up dictating the collection. When I put the pieces altogether, it felt… calm. The story, so to speak, is built around that. I also like that it is a bit different from last season so there’s an element of surprise.” Take the gold sequin-covered top, for example.

Maticevski tells Gritty Pretty, “I’m not one of those designers who creates storyboards. Unfortunately, I don’t have time to immerse myself in a story. I used to when I was younger [Maticevski launched his eponymous brand in 1999] and I kind of like that the designs flow freely.” These days, he says, “My design process is dictated by what I think feels right and if a piece feels right then it makes the collection and often, it can branch into something more interesting.”

Fashion aside for one moment, and in the lead up to his show, Maticevski revealed beauty is just as intrinsic to a well-rounded runway show.

“If I can describe nails, if anything, they are the icing on the cake,” he says. “If it’s too heavy, it looks overdone and if it’s underdone, the overall look can seem unfinished.”

Maticevski’s philosophy about beauty is simple. “My approach is to never let hair, makeup or nails be overdone but upon closer inspection, you can see the intricate detail that has actually gone into each element. It’s often a fine and tricky balance but it always looks so effortless.”

Maticevski says he was involved in every aspect in the lead up. “For the nail looks that Melisa Giraldo created on the models, I sat down with my team and told them what shades I was drawn to and asked them what their favourites were also. Collaborating is about truly collaborating with people.”

Deciding upon five different pairings – depending on what each model wore –Maticesvki says he “didn’t feel a need to do just one nail look” this year.

Initially though, Maticevki looked to the lighter, soft pink tones and layering them with textured polishes that contained large glitter flecks but as the collection grew to encompass grey and heavier blacks grounded with embellishments, Maticevski chose five different looks with each hand having a single feature nail.

“I love the names of OPI’s nail lacquers and we really wanted to do something fun,” says Maticevski. “[Nails] help bring the look together.”

The winning medleys?

A pale pink pairing (OPI Nail Lacquer in Make Light of the Situation with Chiffon My Mind as the feature); a petal pink duo (OPI Nail Lacquer in Care to Danse with Petal Soft as the glitter feature); a grey and black coupling (OPI Nail Lacquer in Cement the Deal and Dark Side of the Mood as the feature); a black and gun metal set (OPI Nail Lacquer in Black Onyx with My Voice is a Little Norse as the feature); and finally, a space-age white and silver twosome (OPI Nail Lacquer in Alpine Snow and Pirouette My Whistle as the feature).

On the runway, science acted as the common link between fashion and beauty, tying everything together expertly and being met with rapturous applause.

Encore, Toni and team. Encore, indeed.