Vancouver-based designer Jason Matlo is turning heads with his newly rebranded Matlo Atelier made-to-measure line, the most recent of the successful fashion designer’s work in fashion for women and men.
The Atelier, which can be found alongside the cobbled streets of Water Street in Gastown, recently renewed its focus on bespoke garments through the launch of their first collection French Kiss. The collection was showcased with a Champagne and canapé premiere at the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver Rooftop on Friday, September 27. The Details DESIGN/Inc.-produced event wasn’t meant to be a highbrow runway show, as Matlo has made it clear that he wanted it open to anyone with interest in fashion, and pledged proceeds of ticket sales towards the Girls Inc. of Northern Alberta charity.
Matlo has a history of producing clothing with female empowerment in mind, and this collection was no different. His garments have been designed to be accessible for all genders, ages, and body types, and he promotes the idea that you do not need to be attending a gala to wear a high-quality custom piece.
With fifteen years of experience in the fashion industry, Matlo has seen success in design since being invited to compete in the prestigious Smirnoff Fashion Awards international finals in Berlin when he was fresh out of design school. He went on to win the Life Network reality TV show Making it Big, which rewarded him with a chance to display his collection in Saks Fifth Avenue.
Since these breakthroughs, he has been recognized in publications like Elle and Flare, had designs on the red carpets of both the prestigious Academy Awards and Cannes Film Festival, and was racked in The Room alongside luxury designer brands.
Earlier in 2019, he rebranded his fashion company as Matlo Atelier and has been diligently working on the newly launched French Kiss collection.
Matlo’s recent experiences traveling in France inspired his latest collection. “I love Paris because I am a very visual person, and everything in the city is gorgeous,” he says. “I was immediately struck by the French aesthetic and the quality of everything from the food, architecture and bed linens to the brasseries, and everything in the French culture in between.”
Returning to Vancouver, Matlo and his design team pored over French fashion from the 1940s and 1950s, with particular attention given to draping, beading, and hand-finishing. Much of the collection was developed by designer Wen-Chee Liu, who has worked alongside Matlo for the better part of twelve years. He relies on her “unique design vision,” valuing her as “an intrinsic fibre of the Matlo Atelier tapestry and brand.”
Matlo says their design process was much less linear than it would usually be. “We had a full collection before ever sourcing the fabrics,” he remembers. They searched for additional inspiration in historical fashion, French architecture, and old movies, then selected fabrics that fit the ideas they had developed. This was a reversal of how they usually design, but he found that focusing on details, lines, and silhouettes first gave them more freedom.
Finishing this show won’t mean slowing down for the busy designer. Matlo is continuing to develop his work outside of fashion in drawing, painting, interior design, and ballet. Other bespoke programs are in the works, but he remains tight-lipped about their theme.
Above all, Matlo is always eager to find more inspiration and mentions the importance of travel in between his designing new collections and working with new clients searching for that breathtaking made-to-measure look, the team at Matlo Atelier will have their hands full… of the most beautiful fabrics, glittery sequins, plush velvets, and more.
Models: Family Management: Stephanie Thomas, Blai Arabia, Siera Bruzzese
Photography: Jamie Mann
Wardrobe: Matlo Atelier
Hair & Makeup: Jason Matlo
Assistant Styling: Corissa Bagan
- Coleman Pete is a contributor for EcoLuxLuv Communications. Coleman writes about menswear, design, and culture, and can be found combing through vintage clothing racks or reading in one of his favourite cafés in Vancouver's Mount Pleasant neighbourhood. Read more by Coleman at OverdressedNW.com.
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