THE Q&A: Fashion designer Lucian Matis brings Marrakesh dreams to Winterlude
Shop Talk

THE Q&A: Fashion designer Lucian Matis brings Marrakesh dreams to Winterlude

Toronto-based designer Lucian Matis was born and raised in Romania.

If you’ve seen the ice sculptures once, and skating on the canal isn’t your thing, then Winterlude can seem like more of a tourist festival than something that brings real energy to the city. But a new event, one that brings together fashion and molecular gastronomy, aims to shake up the staid images winter in Ottawa.

The American Express Winterlude Food and Fashion Evening gives local fashion lovers a glimpse of what’s to come at Ottawa Fashion Week when Toronto-based designer Lucian Matis presents his vivacious and alluring Spring/Summer 2013 collection. (This is the second year that OFW has partnered with Winterlude; OFW runs February 8-10.)

Marc Lepine, the winner of the 2012 Canadian Culinary Championship and the chef/owner of Ottawa’s Atelier restaurant, will set the stage with a five course meal. Anyone familiar with Lepine’s fare will know he brings flare and creativity, as well as a sense of adventure, to every plate. This is high-end, experiential eating at its best.

While Lepine will undoubtedly pull the foodies in (the $165 ticket, which includes wine, is a steal), we wanted to chat with the young designer chosen to add the sartorial finale to this special event.

SHOP TALK: Your education includes studies in art, painting, graphics. How do these influence your collections? Who is your favourite artist?

Lucian Matis: My art studies have helped me enrich my array of duties by allowing me to design my own fabrics, create more sculptural silhouettes, at times shoot the look books or campaigns. It allows me to never get bored of my job.

I have a few fine artists that I respect but as far as them influencing my work as a designer I think one of my favourite fine artists is Gustav Klimt.

The prints for the Spring/Summer collection were inspired by the designer's travels in Morroco.

ST: How does your heritage affect your fashion collections?

LM: My European sensitivity for fashion design is what really shows my roots and my heritage.  I was raised with a European sensibility and now that I live in Canada, I am able to combine both continents into a new flavour in fashion.

ST: You won an award from the Fur Council of Canada in 2002. How do you see the place for fur in today’s fashions?

LM: I love fur and love working with fur. I would love to have it incorporated into my clothing a lot more and maybe next season will have it used to a larger extent. Fur is something I haven’t explored enough but I look forward to using it more.

ST: We love the prints from the spring 2013 collection that you presented at Toronto Fashion Week, and that you will bring to the Winterlude event. What inspired this collection?

LM: The prints for SS13 are inspired by Morocco. I wanted to take the viewers on an exotic trip and have them experience my dream of Marrakesh.

ST: What do you hope to gain from the Winterlude event? Why did you decide to participate?

LM: As one of the main events in the capital of Canada it was a privilege to be invited to show my work. It is a market I haven’t yet fully tapped into and would love to explore more of.  Any creative fashion event that exposes Canadian talent can only benefit our industry.

Friday, Feb. 1. 7:30 pm. Ottawa Convention Centre. $165 (plus tax) includes five-course meal with wine. Reservations required: 613-599-FANS (3267)