Vancouver designer makes custom garments with an inclusive approach

Sep 23 2019, 12:13 pm

There’s a common misconception that couture is reserved for high-profile celebrities and socialites. But that’s not the case at Matlo Atelier Vancouver.

With 15 years of design experience and features in windows of world-class luxury stores like Saks Fifth Avenue, Jason Matlo, creative director of Matlo Atelier Vancouver, is on a mission to open the world of one-of-a-kind, custom-fit garments to everyone, offering a collaborative experience in a creative, boutique environment.

Located in Gastown, the Atelier recently underwent a rebrand in their design company to focus on a solely bespoke approach, offering direct sales. With this came the launch of their stunning first collection, French Kiss.

Now for the first time, you can see these flattering silhouettes and intricate designs for yourself at the made-to-measure collection premiere, taking place at the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver Rooftop on Friday, September 27.

An integral part of the design philosophy at Matlo Atelier has always been rooted in female empowerment, and for this reason, the upcoming show is being produced in support of the charity Girls Inc. of Northern Alberta. This means you’ll be supporting a wonderful cause when you buy your ticket for this extraordinary event.

Matlo decided that if he was going to produce another runway show, he wanted the public, especially people that were interested in fashion or the arts, to be able to come and raise money for charity.

What makes Matlo Atelier stand out from the crowd is the level of passion and skill that goes into each garment that Matlo and his assistant designer, Wen-chee Liu, work to create. The company is driven by its dedication to clients’ involvement in the evolution of their own truly unique pieces.

“Historically, our clients have discovered the brand through word of mouth in Vancouver, a little bit through Calgary, Western Canada, and sometimes as far as Toronto,” Matlo tells Daily Hive.

Clients then book an initial meeting to sit down and discuss what they’re looking for, perhaps referencing Pinterest images or other sources of inspiration. The design team takes measurements (sometimes up to 30), present sketches and ideas, and begin the initial prototype from there. Clients can come in for anything from one to five fittings, and garments are tailored for the most perfect fit.

Without question, this attention to detail is evident throughout the French Kiss collection.

After visiting Paris and falling in love with the city, the architecture, and the South of France, Matlo returned to Vancouver and decided that the Atelier would offer a selection of clothing as a presentation of what they’re capable of creating in terms of tailoring, draping, beading, and hand finishing. The design team studied French fashion from the 40s and 50s, all the while referencing couture books as they created the collection.

This experience has challenged the team by pushing their skill sets, and Matlo says French Kiss is the “most complex collection” they’ve ever worked on, both creatively and technically. That said, he feels it’s also the most beautiful and exciting body of work his team has produced to date.

Matlo Atelier’s goal is to educate people on the process and the opportunities that are possible for all genders, ages and body types within the realm of custom-made clothing.

“I feel that [custom design] is an art form that should be inclusive and accessible to everybody,” says Matlo.

“We love [working with] women that aren’t the perfect archetype of a model-type body. That’s been a big part of where our business has been formed. We won’t turn you away on a specific body type and our clothing is typically generated towards curvier bodies that have a little more shape.”

You don’t need to be going to a gala to have a custom-fitted outfit made (although that is a great reason). Attending a wedding, celebrating a birthday, or even adding timeless, high-quality pieces to your wardrobe are all reasons to do so, and the cost only depends on the level of detail and fabrication you desire.

“If a look takes 40 meters of fabric and it’s beaded all over, that will be more expensive than a simple cut day dress, for example,” says Matlo.

For this reason, the creative director wants to encourage people to try custom design.

“I think that there is a misconception that [couture] will be out of the client’s price range. The door is open at the Atelier to anybody who wants to come in. We want to welcome everybody to come and meet us, sit down, maybe have a glass of champagne with us, and then see if we can create something wonderful together.”

Visit Matlo Atelier Vancouver now to schedule an appointment and get your tickets for the exclusive French Kiss collection premiere.

‘French Kiss’ Made-to-Measure Collection Premiere

When: Friday, September 27

Time: 6 to 10 pm

Where: Fairmont Hotel Vancouver Rooftop — 900 West Georgia Street

Price: $185 — Tickets available online only