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Global Designer Spotlight: Lucian Matis from Toronto, Canada

(left and right): Lucian Matis, (centre):MATIS 



Glamour & inspiration: Fashion designer Lucian Matis


By: Amanpreet Dhami

Toronto, Canada


From showing his first collection in 2007 to showcasing his labels at Toronto Fashion Week for the seventh year, Romanian-born fashion designer Lucian Matis, who first was exposed to fashion growing up in his mother’s tailor shop and gained a strong Canadian following on Project Runway Canada, has come a long way.


Designer, Lucian Matis

Designer Lucian Matis


Matis opened for Toronto’s World MasterCard Fashion Week with a grand evening show (and one of  the most sought after tickets in town) at the Fairmont Royal York Hotel for the Lucian Matis label on March 12, 2012.  The Fall/Winter 2012 Lucian Matis Collection was inspired by  “linearity, balance and symmetry in nature” found in butterfly wings, rock formations and the orb of the earth,” which he recreated within the collection through the stunning hand made lace using the macramé technique. Models walked the runways in the colour palette of black, teal feathers, canary yellow and gray in ballroom gowns, dresses, coats and exquisite blouses made with loads of tulle, lace, feathers, wool and cashmere. Pure glamour.


Lucian Matis

Lucian Matis


Then on Tuesday night the MATIS collection was showcased at the tents at David Pecaut Square. MATIS by Lucian Matis is a more affordable collection created for the style savvy and trendy career woman. Both collections got rave reviews from the standing-room only crowd. I’d gladly covet some of these items for my own fall wardrobe!


Amidst his busy and successful week I got a chance to get some insight into this incredible Canadian designer’s aesthetic and mind:


Tell me a little bit about how you got interested in fashion and your beginnings as a designer?

I think my involvement with the fashion world came from my early upbringings. I have been surrounded by fashion all my life and have been working in the industry since I was 14 or 15 years old, I just wasn’t aware of it I guess. I have always enjoyed painting and creating alongside my family’s business in Romania, which paved the way for my future.  I decided to pursue a fashion career once I came to Toronto in 1999 and enrolled at Ryerson University in the Fashion Design program.


Lucian Matis

Lucian Matis



How does your training and art and graphics help you in your work as a clothing designer?

I always talk about the beauty of my job as being this exciting mix of medias like photography, illustrations, and graphic design. Having been trained in all three areas, I have found this very beneficial for my work. I do design my own fabrics as well.  I create the concept of the collections, ad campaigns and so much more, so all this training comes in very handy.


What are your favourite designers that you either take inspiration from or simply love?  

I consistently loved Prada. I think their work is always so innovative and there is always a clear message. I love when artists and designers have something to say in their work. Originality and uniqueness is a must for a fashion designer.



Lucian Matis

Lucian Matis



Whom would you consider style icons?

Someone with class and elegance. Audrey Hepburn is a classic style icon of our day. I also love Cate Blanchett and Nicole Kidman.  It’s the way a woman wears her clothes and the way she feels when wearing them that really comes through with these icons.


As a designer, what do you look towards as your creative muse? And how would you describe your overall aesthetic?

I love someone that is versatile and has a naked beauty like a blank canvas where the designer can create and recreate in an ongoing way. That is why I love Cate Blanchett so much. She is a chameleon not only as an actor, but also as a style icon. Many of my clients have become muses for me for a multitude of reasons.  Their styles might differ but all possess an inner-strength with poise and it’s irresistible for me.





Whom do you consider your most encouraging supporters that have helped you to get to where you are today?

My family for sure and my close friends that I work with and who are in my life. They always encourage me to push myself into exploring unknown territories.


When you are going through an extremely busy time what do you do to recharge yourself and relax?

I meditate. Meditation is the best way to release stress. I make it clear to myself that this is a choice and not a must.


Do you have a favourite piece in the Lucian Matis Fall/Winter 2012 collection?

I think my favourite piece is the finale piece. This dress took us 14 days to make and 3 people to execute it. It was an ambitious project considering we had extremely tight deadlines for the collection.


The Finale by Lucian Matis

The Finale by Lucian Matis


What are some of your long-term goals as a designer?  What can we expect to see in the future from Lucian Matis?

Expanding into other areas of design and creating a LUCIAN MATIS lifestyle brand.  As long as I am creative and I can further these concepts under my labels, I am happy.



Photography courtesy of Jenna Marie Wakani


*Amanpreet is a freelance writer, editor and producer with a focus on beauty, lifestyle, fashion and branded editorial. Her work has appeared in various publications including ANOKHI Magazine, Lipstick Powder N’ Paint, TheKit.ca, Rouge (P&G’s Beauty Magazine) and  29Secrets.com. When she’s not writing her heart away she’s either reading, drinking coffee or keeping up to date with the latest beauty trends. You can also find her on Twitter: @PreetsD or at amanpreetdhami.wordpress.com



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