Written by: Mirian Njoh
She wears all white. Not stark, sterile white, but a soft, warm eggshell. It’s Day 3 of Toronto Fashion Week and the Maison Matthew Gallagher SS14 show has officially begun.
The sharp, high notes of a harp begin to play a sweet lullaby. An opulent brick passageway lined by vegetation is projected as the backdrop to this runway presentation.
Then more girls as the lullaby gives way to a dance-y Italian pop soundtrack. All head to toe in white frocks. Some loose and flowing, others structured, but always dripping with femininity.
Deep side parts with hair cleanly slicked back. Circle sunglasses. Nude pumps. And of course, glittering ear accoutrements.
“I’ve always liked the past,” Gallagher tells me, “Like Hitchcock movies and things like that.” It has been less than 10 minutes since his show wrapped and we are standing backstage chatting. He is flanked by two of his models.
The Maison Matthew Gallagher woman is inspired by the Hitchcock woman whom Gallagher describes as “cool, collected, and stylish”.
Calculated sexiness results in deep slits, backless ensembles, and sprinkles of bare midriff. ” You don’t have to show everything, but I want to give the option. So when I’m designing I like to think of other ways you can wear it.” If a hint of sideboob isn’t your thing Gallagher suggest throwing a tank underneath. “It’s not necessarily just what you see on the runway.”
While the collection started off monochromatic, as it continued Gallagher subtly painted more hues into the spectrum. First summer sand and bleached coral. Then splashes of bold melon with touches of pale cerulean and orchid.
“It’s based on my summers when I would go to the Italian Riviera,” Gallagher reminisces. “In Portofino all these women would drop their yacht and come in and everything’s so glamorous. Obviously this is an exaggerated version, but it’s my dreamt up version of what that is.”
And who couldn’t use a luxury resort paradise? “I wanted to evoke some emotion,” he muses. “With the music, with everything. It just feels like summer.”