Words: Aluwani Ratshiungo | Photography: Kantinka Bester | Art Direction/Styling: Kelly Fung | Make-Up: Algria Ferreira | Model: Anyon Asola

Matte Nolim’s Frill Matters lookbook offers a hint of dreamy escapism and juxtaposes their feminine collection with lush greenery of a secret garden located in Cape Town.

From high-waisted pants with contrasting stitches and side seams to tops with large sleeves and carefully crafted frills, in pink, red, and black, this collection has a lot to offer in terms of fashion-forward flair and frilly femininity while maintaining a minimalistic appeal. The clothes are delicate and don’t seem overdetermined.

“Our aesthetic is Minimalism and we’re currently expanding on it,” says Mathew, the designer. “At this stage of my career, I am aiming to speak to the Matte Nolim woman’s fun side. I feel like we have neglected that side and this was the season.”

The 29 year-old’s go to materials are scubba (because of the structure and comfort it offers) and variations of Duchess Satin while wide legs, frills and bell sleeves have come to be the brand’s signature. These details are highly impactful, but they are also on trend and distinctively now.


Does Mathew worry that the clothes he’s creating will be dated when the trends pass?

“Those are just some of the trends we have had a hand in introducing into the South African Fashion industry. But what our new audience might miss is that we’ve been doing sleeves since 2013 and expanding on them even with our current SS18 collection. How we have managed to stay relevant, is by taking a trend and owning it. We are a fashion-forward brand with a pinch of drama and a hint of class. Matte Nolim is the exclusive option to fast fashion; those who want to be different from the pack gravitate towards us. Our cuts and fabrics also separate themselves from the fast fashion options that are not high end. Our wide legs are a perfect example of that as they have lasted two seasons since we launched them and they are still our best seller.”