Toronto Fashion Week Day One: Lucian Matis Runway Show

This afternoon Lucian Matis hit the runway, and brought his well-known flair to our reimagined three-day festival. The Romanian-born, Toronto-based designer first hit the fashion scene on reality TV, as the runner-up on “Project Runway Canada,” but is now best known for the types of dreamy, hand-embellished gowns favoured by tastemakers like Sophie Grégoire-Trudeau (the Prime Minister’s wife donned two of Matis’s gowns to meet with Michelle and Barack Obama on a state visit to Washington last year).

Matis presented his latest collection to a packed audience, and admitted this season is a bit of a departure for him—literally. “The name of the collection was ‘flight,’ and it’s all about lifting up and fighting gravity,” he explained backstage. “I went through something personal recently and felt the need to take off and go and express myself creatively.” The result was recurring motifs of feathers and hummingbirds, in breezy, gauzy fabrics, mixed with Matis’s signature embellishment, like today’s sequined full-face masks. “The masks were like an apparition of inspiration,” he explained. “I wanted them to come and go, and gradually get more and more opulent, more and more extraordinary.” Matis says he can’t choose a favourite piece from the collection (“They’re all like my babies!”) but says that he didn’t create the line with one particular woman in mind. “All the looks are different characters, for different locations, parties and social events. It’s a collection of personalities, but each of the pieces have a purpose.”

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Photography by George Pimentel