Friday, April 2, 2010

Lucian Matis, the Hit of Toronto Fashion Week

an enthusiastic Lucian Matis answers questions after his very well received collection

The hit of Toronto LG Fashionweek was unquestionably the Lucian Matis show on the afternoon of Thursday, April 1st. Lucian’s clothes and presentation were unique and beautiful.

The new Fashion week venue at the newly restored, historic Art Deco Automotive Building (now rebranded the Allstream Centre) on the grounds of the Canadian National Exhibition is very spacious and is ideal for fashion shows. The central location and a very generous lounge and bar area, spacious areas for hairdressing, makeup, wardrobe, dressing, media, interviews, socializing, and wide corridors make this facility much more suitable than previous locations.

feverish activity in the ranks of creative hair and make-up artists

The show began with the passionate singing of Rona Hartner accompanied by stirring violin that was layered with an urban beat. It set the distinctly east European mood before the models had emerged. The models were carefully selected for an eastern European look; they had Erno Laszlo complexions, high cheekbones, and strong noses. The hair was teased into large sculptural "buns" that were adorned with a black fabric headpiece that was neither bow nor hat, but a most creative and becoming creation somewhere between.

exquisite millinery reminiscent of a large, romantically wilted fleur-de-mal

The palette was disciplined and cohesive. Black featured prominently in the collection and was used mostly as accents in accessories, although a few outfits were entirely black. Black headdresses, eyes heavily accented with kohl, black jewellery, and most striking of all, long tight black gloves and equally tight black leggings gave a new and interesting aspect to dresses, coats, jackets and skirts. Colour schemes were: all black, black with gunmetal grey, black with gold, black with cream, all cream, or all grey. Matte, shiny, and textured materials brought interest to the richly detailed collection.

The inspiration for the collection was the folkloric looks of eastern Europe, specifically the designer's homeland, Romania. In historic collections of the past decades, both Coco Chanel and Yves Saint-Laurent showed east European peasant inspired collections, however Lucian’s look was sophisticated, modern, and avoided costume effects by the measured use of black, and unobtrusive touches of modernism such as shoulder and hip emphasis on some garments. The introductory clothes were those most clearly inspired by ethnic looks; later pieces were linked to the collection by the use of black and similarly styled and accessorized models.

two very different looks, both accessorized with black and a sophisticated demeanor

a signature look from the fashion show invitation; note the very unique "lantern" skirt

European charm meets 21st century urban sophistication

Jewellery added great distinction to the looks, especially the large pieces that were black jet, or with amber coloured stones, a look that is specifically identified with eastern European taste and style since antiquity. In true, classic couture taste, the jewellery pieces by the talented Karen McFarlane were massive and overscale, boldly making a statement in a way that precious jewellery often does not.

The audience viewing this collection was clearly impressed, and reactions were very favourable. As the audience exited the large hall, they seemed rather dazzled and overwhelmed by the beauty, and it seemed that one would experience culture shock by returning to reality. Conversations overheard after the show were nothing but praiseworthy.

classic black used in an original and new manner

How long Lucian will remain in Toronto before being lured to New York or Paris is uncertain, but you can be sure that he as achieved a level of taste, creativity, and technical skill that would permit one to utter his name in the same breath as Galliano or McQueen. Really, you had to be there.

A video of the Lucian Matis collection can be viewed at

original prints, glamorous silhouettes, innovative cuts, folkloric inspiration, numerous accents of black

text and photos © 2010 Square With Flair™


  1. You really caught the movement in these pictures Square! Well done indeed!

    I was at the show and Lucian outperformed every Canadian Designer by showing what craftsmanship and Artistanship is all about!

    It was a glorious Romanian Ball! Matis knows and interprets beauty like noone else!

  2. I cannot tell from your post whether you were actually at the show.

  3. Hi Ingrid,
    Oh yes, Square was there..these are his pictures and commentary.

    He really summed up the night so succinctly.