Matin SS19 Campaign. Wearing V-Neck Gathered Dress
Conceptualised by the desire to bring the ease of French dressing to Australia, designer Michelle Perrett, the talented woman behind one of the most adored local brands Matin, shares her philosophies, inspirations and future focus in our recent conversation.
- Tell us a bit about yourself ?
I was born and raised on Sydney’s Northern Beaches, and feel my style has been influenced by my travels throughout the years and the wonderful places and people I have experienced along the way.
- How did the idea for Matin come about? What were the early days like?
The concept was to capture that je ne sais quoi by taking the French approach to style and giving it an Australian ease that suits our lifestyles. The early days were not dissimilar to now – we remain a small, hands-on team working with the same Sydney-based makers who made our first collection of lace-up styles which we became known for.
- What is the brand’s philosophy and how does it carry through each collection? Who is the Matin woman?
The focus is on creating clothing made locally in Sydney using natural fabrications. These values apply to each season which I feel is really appreciated by the Matin woman. She is a true individual and values self-expression.
- Where do you find inspiration?
It always comes back to the 60s and 70s in terms of silhouettes and mood. I love the photographs by Terry O’Neill that captured those in between moments of Brigitte Bardot, the old holiday snaps of Jane Birkin and Serge Gainbourg, and black and white images of Françoise Hardy on the streets of Paris. The thing that connects each of these women is their approach to style which still today is all about expressing themselves. They have all aged naturally and beautifully and are the all-time ultimates.
Linen pieces from the label's core range.
Left: Jane Birkin & Serge Gainbourg.
Right: Françoise Hardy on the streets of Paris via Pinterest.
- What does sustainability and ethical production mean for Matin and in what ways are you working towards this practise?
Sustainability is an ongoing focus of ours and will always be a part of the business that will evolve. Our core sustainable practices include working exclusively with natural fabrications which are washable by hand or machine, reducing the need for toxic dry-cleaning, while also reducing the amount of synthetic particles which make their way into the waterways which occurs when synthetic fibres – such as polyesters – are washed. We produce locally in Sydney and have complete visibility into the conditions of machinists, cutters, and patternmakers. With reference to waste, we are in the midst of incorporating 100% biodegradable satchels into our online store packaging, and constantly researching alternatives to standard plastic garment bags and warehouse packaging which is a huge waste issue facing the fashion industry. And we have just begun shipping our international orders with carbon neutral delivery company, Sendle.
- What has been your experience as a woman in the industry?
I feel really supported as a woman in the industry. I’m surrounded by strong, positive, empowered women who contribute their knowledge and experience towards the evolution of Matin.
- What can we expect to see next from Matin?
Moving toward summer, you’ll see relaxed separates and more colour mixed with a few key swim styles to pair with the ready to wear collection.
- Can you describe your personal style?
I’m a tomboy at heart, but with a soft spot for lightweight cotton dresses trimmed in lace.
- Where was the most memorable place you travelled to and what made it so special?
Sri Lanka. The people, the aromas, the natural environment and landscape. It is a place that has stuck with me, in part because of the dear friends I travelled with, and also because our cultures are so vastly different, the experience itself encourages you to slow down and take it all in.
- What are you currently reading, watching and listening to?
Listening to Deepak Chopra podcasts which are really nice ways to finish off a busy day. Reading a mix of light and heavy reading as always: Widow Basquiat, A Memoir, and Dalai Lama, The Way to Freedom. Astrology for the Soul is a forever on my bedside table.
- What can you not live without?
A creative outlet and travel plans.