You don’t have to look far to find the raw and intriguing talent of Canada’s very own rising fashion star, Lucian Matis. I had the pleasure of meeting the designer at the Très Chic Styling opening event back in May where Matis was the guest of honour. We got a preview into his collection as the models donned his pieces for a live fashion show, and I got a chance to be styled by him for this year’s Canadian Arts & Fashion Awards (CAFA).
Born and raised in the garment industry, so to speak, Lucian Matis learned how to sew at a very young age alongside his mother who worked as a tailor. Always immersed in the fine arts, Matis emigrated from Romania in 1999 and attended Ryseron University in fashion design in 2007 in his new hometown of Toronto. He is just one of those people whose work is a natural extension of who he is; he lives and breathes fashion. I mean who sells their first custom-made Minnie and Mickey sweater at age 7 and doesn’t later end up in fashion? Um, no one.
He has a few claims to fame. Notably, a few years ago, Sophie Grégoire Trudeau wore two of his designs to the White House state dinner. He was also the season 1 “Project Runway Canada” runner up, and has been featured in so many national and international magazines. Let’s also keep in mind that Matis only launched his first collection in 2007! That, my friends, is not so long ago.
There are a few elements to his intricate designs that make them opulent and elegant in that couture kind a way. The cuts are immaculate and the fabrics are lavish, but the detail that always catches my eye is that multi-dimensional, playful vibe he gives to his pieces. You can tell he draws his inspiration from the natural elements (or I should say, mixing the elements). The daywear and evening wear are both beyond stylish and fashion-forward, but honestly, so wearable. I think that’s what makes the difference between designers with lasting power versus those who kill a trend until its beaten into the ground (omg, so aggressive!). He is most known for his rompers, which are always evolving in silhouette, fabric, patterns, and so on. But for CAFA, Matis styled me in this dynamic dress that is just perfect for the red carpet. The mock neck is debonair, the fitted silhouette gives that sleek sophistication, and those tassels… omg don’t get me started on the tassels.
At the opening of the Très Chic Styling second boutique in Laval, people from all over came out dressed to the nines to get a glimpse of what Lucian Matis’ eponymous line would show for the upcoming season. Glamorous and fierce, with that European flair, Matis has the ability to take a classic piece and transform it into the “it” garment for the season all while making it recognizably Matisian.
His eye for colour is what brought purple and orange together for Trudeau’s custom dress and, placing myself in the company of our country’s royalty, that perfect starry night palette for my CAFA look.
Photography by Patricia Brochu