Before the Show
Let the Show Begin!
Seen @ the Show
1 on 1 with Mr. Matlo
I’ve seen Jason many times throughout Vancouver. We’ve met at Eco Fashion Week, the Deighton Cup and most recently the Brilliant 2014 Charity Fashion Show. A couple days after his 10th anniversary show we had a lengthy discussion about fashion and design.
R!c – Your 10th anniversary show took place on October, 10th. Was this a coincidence or was it planned?
JMat – It was the date the Fairmont Pacific Rim was available. Normally I launch my collection in Sept. but the stars aligned for 10–10–10.
R!c – 10 years! Wow, what would you do differently if you were starting today?
JMat – Mistakes can be expensive so I would take business courses early on. Secondly, I would have accepted Helen Le Feaux’s offer to train as her apprentice. I would have studied with her for two years to learn the art of European Haute Couture.
R!c – H&M seems to be the measuring stick for cost. Your work is priced considerably higher for many reasons. Do you feel you need to educate people about your craftsmanship and effort?
JMat – No, because I’ve built my business one woman at a time. I don’t advertise so personal referrals are essential. My goal is for each woman to feel amazing so they understand the quality they’re buying.
R!c – Where and who do you like to see wear your dresses?
JMat – It’s most thrilling when I see a real woman on the street wearing my designs. Once in Manhattan I saw a lady wearing one of my dresses. And to my surprise she recognized me! She was Canadian but it was still an amazing experience.
R!c – Does your design process start with fabric, color or the world around you?
JMat – It always starts with the touch and feel of the fabric. I’ll loosely sketch a few pieces then move to a mannequin. It’s more about reacting to what I see and taking a build-as-I-go approach. I don’t always see the end beforehand.
R!c – If you could seat anyone in the front row of your next show, who would you pick and why?
JMat – Grace Coddington (American Vogue’s Creative Director). She has an interesting and unique point of view.
R!c – If you could pick any model to walk in your next show, who would you pick and why?
JMat – Linda Evangelista. In the 1990s she was very versatile and had an individual and almost unconventional look.
R!c – If you could dress any celebrity, past or present, who would you like to see walk into your studio?
JMat – I’m not enamoured with celebrities but Beyonce can wear almost anything. She’s the whole package with looks, face and body.
R!c – Who are your fashion idols?
JMat – Alexander McQueen! I like John Galliano for cut and design. I feel most akin to Tom Ford in terms of brand and the whole aesthetic. I like the classic designs of Dior, YSL and Oscar de la Renta. I love cutting, drafting and old school dress making.
R!c – Your work consists of: Collection, Bridal and Babe lines. What’s next?
JMat – Bridesmaid dresses. Often times my bridal customers inquire about dresses for their wedding party so it’s a natural progression.
R!c – What non-fashion activities do you enjoy?
JMat – I like books and old movies that show the human spirit. I like to see/read what makes people tick. “Auntie Mame” is one of my favorite movies.
It’s been a pleasure to talk to you. Thank you for your time and I look forward to the next time we meet!