Discover the glorious world of Marko Matysik, luxury's most loyal ally.
Creative consultant, journalist, painter, private couturier and ostrich aficionado, Marko Matysik's maverick imagination knows no limits.
While most of his peers were still sucking their thumbs, Marko Matysik's passion for couture had already reared its fabulous visage. At age four he offered elaborately dressed handcrafted paper maché princesses as gifts to his mother's jet-setting friends. Years later, after graduating with honors in fashion from the St Martins School of Art in London, he quickly went on to dress a real-life princess at the Victor Edelstein atelier, the preferred couturier of Diana Princess of Wales. Son of hotelier parents, Matysik traveled extensively as a child and lived from suite to suite with colorful flair (thanks to his annual decoration budget he transformed the family chambers into whimsical Greco or Gothic-inspired landscapes). The experience shaped a taste for the finest, while fueling his battle against the trials and tribulations of modern travel. Tapped by Paris retailer Colette to design a collection of ultra-luxe travel accessories, Matysik presented his now legendary range of sheared mink headrests with hidden pouches for diamond studs and aromatic elixir pods. Donatella Versace, the first client to lay eyes on the finished products, snatched up the whole lot. Creative consultant, journalist, painter, private couturier and ostrich aficionado, when Matysik's not wearing one of his many professional hats, he's raising the luxe factor and comfort quotient with each new creation. Just cross your fingers that his bungee-cord inflatable aromatic oxygenated tents and eponymous all-luxe airline see the light of day.
.What is your definition of luxury?
The creation of art. It's pure extravagance.
If luxury were an object what would it be?
I don't understand people who think that a Harry Winston canary diamond is a luxury. That's a necessity not a luxury. A luxury is having your own private beach and swimming nude in the diamond-clear waters.
If luxury were a moment when would it be?
That moment, in St.Petersburg, 1849, when an imperial messenger dashed in yelling "reprieve" while Dostoevsky stood before the firing-squad. He was expelled to Siberia for four years, but Dostoevsky got his life back and we got Crime and Punishment and The Possessed.
If luxury were a person, who would it be?
Daphne Guinness, the ravishing Queen of Couture who has an amazing eye for eclectic elegance.
Describe the inspiration behind your latest collection of unique "collage" accessories?
The ostrich informs everything that I do. I love them. Riding on the back of an ostrich wearing Chatelaines, tinkering like the sound of ice cubes in a gin and tonic. Chatelaines are rare, highly collectable and beyond gorgeous. It's the name given collectively to any equipage (usually metal) that dangles fancifully from the waist. Wonderfully democratic, Chatelaines have made many cameo appearances along the fashion timeline – from royalty, courtesans and housekeepers to the Venice-going fashion cognoscenti of the renaissance. My collection has been influenced by this; married with a select range of antique silk and moiré belts that originate from the late Edwardian and Victorian periods. I've created a unique collocation of styles that restores the Chatelaines wear-ability. Until now, such vestiges of high fashion have been kept out of reach and behind the glass displays of the British Museum. Now, for the first time, they have been cleverly integrated with luxurious period belts and left to flutter at the waist in their original glory.
What attracts you to one-off designs?
I hate production. I'd much rather make unique pieces. It's just like when you play matchmaker with your friends, you just feel so fabulous when the pair works out. It's the same with my designs. I love digging around for a little granny buckle that then works beautifully with the inside netting of a disheveled vintage Givenchy couture.
Where do you source your materials?
Auction houses, private dealers, fairs, charity shops and car boot sales globally. Sometimes I rip open bags of trash left outside of foreign embassies and ruffle about for discarded treasures from far-flung kingdoms.
Are the ideas for your designs born from necessity or fantasy?
Necessity is the mother of invention. Just because your mind is in seat 1A and your bottom is on Easy Jet doesn't mean that you have to downgrade your accessories. Comfort is the key to travel.
Who or what is currently on your creative mood board?
A runaway blueberry on my breakfast tray is currently sitting, somewhat squashed in the middle of my current mood board, and I think it has distinct potential.
Style is an art of living. What does your style reveal about your personality?
Decadent, brave, care free, precious, directional, inventive and passionate.
What do you think consumers ultimately crave?
Sincere attention and considerate, honest advice. Cravings need to be subjugated and exquisitely teased; you can't just give in to them.
Your frequent travels as a child shaped your taste for designs that alleviate travel-related discomforts. What are your essential travel companions?
A vicuna or chartrush blanket, cleansing hydrating products, iPod, phone, diary, book, and magazines.
What do you hate most about traveling? Any solutions in mind?
When BOAC first started to fly transatlantic, the hostesses would help clients dress and do their hair before arrival. Now you are thrown a cardboard box of "food" and strapped into less space than a veal calf in a crate. Call that progress? I'm in the concept stages of Markoair – watch this space. Since oxygen on board any airline is minimal and dehydrating, jet lag is increased to the extreme on exhausting flights. So I had this idea (not yet realized) to create cool-looking hydrating spray masks for in-flight use. Imagine an oxygen tent that fits over you feeding you hydrating virgin air. Designers would be enlisted to create their own can of scented oxygen inspired by exotic locales: Amazonian rain forest by Roberto Cavalli; frosted glacial alpine air by Mugler; or cameleon bushes at midnight with a faint neroli flutter by Chanel.
What do your expert eyes detect as the must-have fashion/accessories items of the season for women?
YSL penny loafers 'jeanne velvet gris'. I prefer the ones in velvet.
Van Cleef & Arpels 'Secret' white gold bracelet watch.
Dior sheerling jacket, in tan or gray: 'Mink and leather coat'.
Belmacz long green and short gold pearls.
Rochas ice-blue blouse and long flounced skirt.
Anything by Marie-Hélène de Taillac.
When it comes to beauty, what products and brands are on your hit list this season?
Mineral Sun block powerder by Jane Ardel: for day
Helene Rubinstein Lip Pumping Action
Issima midnight secret by Guerlain: on late nights.
Shave using kid glove shave gel by sharps barber and shop.
Dior radiance booster pen: bounces light off darker arias.
Eve Lom cleanser: squeaky, spick and span.
Marko Matysik points of sale:
Marko Matysik - by appointment only Tel: 44 (0)20 7351 7029
Barney's in LA, New York and Tokyo; Colette in Paris; United Arrows and Strabourgo in Tokyo; Erickson Beamon in London