Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Tips and Tricks - Salt and Vinegar

Salt and Vinegar - not just a great combination on your chips but useful ingredients in looking after silk.

Salt: A great tip if you have darker colours is in the first wash to help 'stay' the dye.

Vinegar: Wanting to add some luster back to your silk - put a cup of white vinegar in the rinse cycle.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Anon. Women - Icons: Ines de la Fressange

Ines de la Fressange is a French model, designer and taste-maker. She came to fame in the 1980's as the face of Chanel and muse to designer Karl Lagerfeld. After parting ways in 1989 with the house, supposedly due to her decision to lend her likeness to a bust of Marianne, the ubiquitous symbol of the French republic - Lagerfeld reputedly condemned her decision, saying Marianne was the embodiment of "everything that is boring, bourgeois, and provincial" and that he would not dress up historic monuments - Ines went on to launch her own collection of chic and stylish clothing and accessories. At 51 she recently appeared on the catwalk at the Jean Paul Gaultier Haute Couture show in Paris. For me it was great to see a real woman on the catwalk, someone who could and would actually buy the creations being shown - rather than a 16 yo coat hanger with no life experience, no knowledge of what it is to wear these clothes and no relation to the women who will be buying them. I love the effortlessness of her style, her ability to look chic in jeans and a T shirt. She is such an embodiment of the modern woman: mother, partner, business woman. She does things with style and grace, fashion never interfereing in her life, intead simple classics expressing her immaculate taste, her grace and ease.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Trunk Show

Trunk shows are a great way for me to get out and meet my client base. Here I present my current collection, showing women how the collection works; how they can build a wardrobe out of a carefully edited selection of pieces; as well as tips and tricks on styling and wearing the clothes. Its a great personal interaction, women get to chat to me, the designer and get professional advice on what is going to work best on them; and I get direct feedback, seeing how different styles and shapes work on different women, what they are responding to and why.

I am about to go on another round of trunk shows, starting in Brisbane then traveling up to Bundaberg and Mackay. Listed below are the dates:

Brisbane: February 26 and 27

Bundaberg: March 1, 2 and 3

Mackay: March 5 and 6

For more information or to make an appointment contact me on or p: 0408 690 134.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Things of Stone and Wood

I have been really inspired lately by combinations of grey and brown that have been featured on the Sartorialist's blogspot. I think its such a beautiful natural palette - things of stone and wood. I love the idea of mixing up shades and textures - here the lustre and drape of a silk trench with the crispness and polish of a waxed cotton shift dress. Accessories in leather, wood, suede and croc. add extra depth to the look.

Monday, February 16, 2009

A Diary of a Dress - Toiling and Fitting

A couple of weeks ago, I posted the first piece following the creation of this custom made dress. Today we pick up at the toiling and fitting stage. A toil is a prototype of the dress usually made in a calico or muslin of similar weight to the intended final fabric. Here we test the proportions, fit and finish of the dress. After toiling, the dress was then fitted to the client Jax. Adjustments were made to the placement of tucks and drapes and the general fit and proportions - Jax is only about 5ft tall so placements needed to be moved up to keep the right balance and proportion on the dress in relationship to her body. All the changes are marked on the pattern and now we wait for the fabric to be delivered from my supplier so the final dress can be started.

Stay tuned for more . . .

Friday, February 13, 2009

Anon. Women - Loren Sologinkin

Meet Loren Sologinkin, Loren is a young hairdresser – recently tagged by Michelle Sewell, publisher of Australian Hairdressing Journal, as one of Australia’s brightest up and coming hairdressing talents.

Loren has great confidence and personality; she really expresses this through her use of ‘statement’ accessories – like this buffalo horn beast plate, which she has worn over our Shirtdress.

Take a leaf out of Loren’s book and see how you can change the attitude of really great classic styles with cutting edge accessories. The key here: no matter what you wear, OWN IT.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

In the Navy

As I was putting together this post, I was thrilled to receive the latest issues of Shop Til You Drop Magazine featuring my navy silk ‘Pull-on’ Pants - in it their Micro-Trend section ‘In the Navy’.

For me though, navy is more than a trend. The colour is actually core to the philosophy and development of my label. While black is seen to be the standard colour of fashion, turned to by women around the world as a safe and slimming option, I put forward a different (though certainly not new) proposition – navy. Like black, navy has the same safe and slimming aspects; more than black, navy does actually go with everything - from darks and neutrals through to brights and colours. While black can have a tendency to make colour ‘cheap’ navy allows it to sing. While black can be hard against the skin – especially as you get older – navy softens. For these - among other - reasons it’s the colour I choose as the backbone to every collection. Season after season it is always there, continuing to work with the pieces you already own from me and the pieces you will continue to acquire, continuing to work for your life and style.

And if you need any more convincing about the value of navy – Ines de la Fressange (the French model and style icon), in a recent book on opinions of style by some of the worlds top taste-makers, chooses navy as her favourite colour – ‘because it looks good on everyone’.

Oh and just in case you were wondering – yes, you can wear navy and black together – tres chic.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Autumn Winter '09 Preview

Last Monday I shot the new look book for my autumn / winter ‘09 collection, in preparedness for delivering the collection in March. Here is a sneak peek.

The looks were shot in my apartment / studio by photographer Alexander Edwards. Alex is a good friend of mine, he has a back ground as a film maker and has just started to develop a career as a photographer with a successful first exhibition of his work as part of Melbourne’s Midsumma festival. The model is Sharon Willis.

I really love the beautiful use of light, and think the photos capture the elegance, ease and style of the collection.

Stay tuned for more over the coming months.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Crazy for Krasner

One of my favourite works at the NGV here is Melbourne is the Lee Krasner work – Combat 1965. Krasner was the wife of fellow artist Jackson Pollock. It was not until well after his death that she received the attention she deserved as an artist in her own right.

I love the feeling of energy and movement in this work. It is, to me, like a dance happening across the canvas - bold sweeping gestures full of power and emotion. I get caught up in the motion and energy of the piece. I want to dance in front of it leaping and twirling to the strokes of paint.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Sins of the Flesh

Hollywood awards season is upon us and a big trend on the red carpets is the predominance of flesh, putty and beige colours. I love how chic and fresh this palette looks, quiet with an underlying hint of sexuality and sensuality.

Monday, February 2, 2009

A Diary of a Dress - The Sketch

My good friend Steven Rafter sees the launch of his first novel - 209 A Story - at Balmoral Castle in Scotland in March and requested I create a dress for one of his friends who will be in attendance. The book tells the story of Arthur Gordon McCrae the only Australian recovered from the Atlantic on the maiden voyage of RMS TITANIC 1912. It promises to be an exciting event and a terrific book.

Here I thought I would give you a look into the story of creating a dress for a client for a specific occasion. From the initial brief through to the wearing of the dress.

After being briefed on the occasion and the venue for the dress, I got to work developing ideas. As it is to be worn at the Queen’s Castle there were certain dress requirements in regards to suitability and protocol. On top of these and the desire to create something chic and elegant I also wanted to capture a sense of the history of the book, while keeping the dress thoroughly modern and in line with my vision as a designer. After draping rough ideas on my half scale mannequin I developed the idea in the above sketch. The high neck and draped bodice referencing some styles from the period of the novel, the soft drapery also has a classical tradition in art and dress which I thought would be a lovely gesture to the themes and ideas of the book.

The sketch is the first impression of the dress, giving a sense of its feel and mood. Happily Jax and Steven loved the idea and we are now going ahead with the dress. In the coming weeks I will post more about the further development of the dress, the toiling, fitting and final execution.

I hope you enjoy the story.