When Nicole Pollard took her first steps on the Toni Maticevski Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia runway there was a collective intake of breath. It was all so beautiful, with glossy makeup and voluminous, sports-luxe pieces. Pollard had a dual set of futuristic, tubular cuffs on her wrists, the perfect statement pieces to balance out the graphic shapes of her outfit. Mere looks later, when model Georgia Graham made her entrance, stylist Jolyon Mason had paired Maticevski’s sculptural and intelligent not-so-little-black-dress with a clear, Perspex neck cuff studded with Schiaparelli-pink Swarovski crystals. It was one of the fashion moments of the MBFWA season.
Those eye-catching jewellery pieces – sets of matching wrist and neck cuffs in a neutral colour palette of ivory, black, grey, pink and clear – were the result of a collaboration between Maticevski and iconic brand Dinosaur Designs, founded in 1985 by Stephen Ormandy and Louise Olsen. “I love the aesthetic, I love the originality [of Dinosaur Designs],” Maticevski tells us. “They constantly explore creative ideas as well as practical ones. It’s an amazing, inspiring balance to see and to be a part of.” When Mason and Maticevski were brainstorming ideas for jewellery to go with the collection, Dinosaur Designs came up. “It was funny,” Maticevski admits, “I was thinking about it for a while and hadn’t mentioned it to anyone.”
Unbeknownst to Maticevski, he had a fan in Olsen. “I have always loved Toni’s work,” Olsen tells us, “I love his careful consideration of colour and texture. He has an ability to create complex draped pieces but also explores tailoring and line.” Once the two were introduced the design process unfolded naturally over a series of meetings, phone calls and emails.
“I really wanted something clean and almost pure in its concept,” Maticevski tells us. “[Something] bold and strong, taking into [account] the strength and knowledge of the Dinosaur Designs aesthetic.” The futuristic, modern shapes draw on the architectural and graphic design codes Dinosaur Designs has made iconic over its 30 years in business. At first the two struggled to balance art and fashion in the jewellery pieces. Then Maticevski and Olsen came up with a glamorous solution. “We added a bit of sparkle,” Maticevski says. The end result is the sophisticated and sexy pieces on show at MBFWA. “It was such an exhilarating experience,” Olsen says, “to see hours and hours of work finally reach the runway alongside such exquisite pieces from Toni.”
Collaboration appeals to Olsen, when the right project comes along. “There’s only been a handful [of collaborations] over the 30 years we’ve been in business but it’s really wonderful working with people you love and respect,” Olsen says. “It keeps the design process interesting and inspiring.” For Maticevski, too, the process was overwhelmingly positive. When asked whether he would like to work with Dinosaur Designs again, his answer was unequivocal: “I’d love to! Yes!”
For now, both parties are focusing on the present. Maticevski is heading to Paris for European sales appointments for the Orchid Metamorphosis MBFWA collection. Ormandy and Olsen will be just across the channel in London, putting together the finishing touches on their first European store. “We’ve always wanted a store in London,” Olsen says. “This opportunity was perfect timing.” Part of the Firmdale Hotel group’s Ham Yard property in Soho, the London Dinosaur Designs store is slated for an August opening.