Matcho Suba takes us to Chernobyl

In 1986, Eastern Europe and the world stopped. Not for a global economic meltdown, nor for a war necessarily, but for a disaster which immediately claimed the lives of thirty, and continued to claim as many as 9,000 as the years went on.

The disaster was that of the explosion of Chernobyl, a nuclear power station near the Ukrainian town of Pripyat, only essentially a stone’s throw from the Slovakian village on the Ukrainian-Slovakian border that was home to a young creative with high and esteemed intentions for design.

As a child, when his teacher asked him what he wanted to be when he grew-up, he emphatically answered, ‘a designer!’, which recently came very publicly to fruition in Melbourne.

Matcho Suba’s proudly new hometown of Melbourne officially launched his first ever collection for the Spring-Summer 2012-2013 season in true Melburnian flare with a crowd that attracted some of the city’s and country’s most well-known fashion, media and entertainment faces and personalities in addition to the avid fans and lovers of Suba’s designs.

Controversially entitled Chernobyl, through this collection Suba revisits his youth and memories, harking back to what he saw through the months and years after the disaster in homage to the countless civilians that were forced to flee their radiated homes and lives.

Suba is adamant the collection is not one of disrespect of the disaster, rather an emotionally fuelled picture book of his emotions and figments of what he saw.

In addition to the intimately positioned and creatively executed presentation of all garments in the collection, the video footage and decor that decked the floors and walls of the room were so apt, it – at least in a small way – transported guests to a darker time in the best and most enjoyable of ways.

Suba’s collection punctured the imaginations and emotions of the audience with the eclectic and theatrical use of a wide and varied mix of fabrics and textiles, used to represent bodily deformation, which was the overall theme of the launch.

Most models’ headpieces where eccentrically crafted with shock value in mind, intended on making a statement and stirring some sort of intrigue, which worked harmoniously with fabrics the likes of pleather, PVC and jersey with embellishments of fringing, pearls and lace. Combined with untraditional patternmaking and asymmetric design, Suba achieved a representation of the human body and its fragility through all its possible disproportion in a most aesthetically pleasing way.

Peppered throughout the collection are embellishments and accessories constructed of faux human limbs and doll parts, old world radioactive gas masks and mouth pieces, studded and beaded with contrasting gold pearls for effect.

Suba’s intention is and always has been finding beauty in things that are atypically so. Chernobyl is one of them, and it’s only a matter of time until designs the likes of Matcho Suba’s adorn Melburnian women in the most unconventionally of beautiful ways.

You must watch this footage of the show thanks to the seriously stunning Sophie Saks of Fashionizer.TV.

Natalie Postruzin (ed. coord. at FashionTREND) and I

Danica Erard (milliner) and Iyan Difuntorum (Matcho’s Stylist)

Irish Rivera of StyleZilla, organised and publicised the event

Project Runway Australia winner Dylan Cooper and The Iconic buyer Sarah Gale


Thanks to Meagan Harding for StyleZilla for their photos.

Follow Matcho on Twitter @Matcho_Suba, event producer Lee Cleal @MelbourneBoy, or see his website at


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