Australian Fashion Designers

The Fine Art of Swimwear Design With Sara Winfield

From whimsical paintings and large-scale drawings to swimwear design, Perth’s Sara Winfield is one to watch. Here, the emerging artist-turned-swimwear-designer (pictured below), who founded her eponymous swimwear label this year, shares her design inspiration and summer swimwear tips with SHESAID readers, see below.

summer, swimwear, swimwear designer, australian fashion designers

But first, some background: modern and sophisticated with illustrative prints as its signature, the Sara Winfield label is aimed at striking a balance between creative art and classical and considered design and minimalism.

Entranced with line and colour in her art works, and renowned for her pastel-hued, fantastical beings, Sara is a young gun Australian fashion designer who’s been fortunate and talented enough to combine her two great loves of art and fashion design.

Related: Check out 6 UP-AND-COMING AUSTRALIAN DESIGNERS here or Julie Grbac’s Fashionable Life in New York

Since founding her art label in 2012, Sara’s held two solo exhibitions, a joint show with artist Anya Brock, received a commission at 140Perth and created artwork for model and interiors blogger Rebecca Judd.

Sara Winfield’s swimwear is available via the label’s e-boutique and select stockists nationally. Visit www.sarawinfield.com for more information.
In addition, Sara’s artworks and prints are available through commission or her online store – www.sarawinfield.bigcartel.com – with exhibitions planned for late 2014.

What’s your greatest love: art or fashion? Easy answer: art!

Who is your core customer? My core customer for both art and swimwear are generally people interested in design-based products who want something that makes a statement and is current.

What sets your swimwear apart? From first impressions, definitely the original, placement printing on my swimwear. But the process of creating those prints comes from a design process which I feel some labels avoid. I prefer to create a story of prints rather than just using stripes because they sell.

What should a customer look for in a good swimwear fit? A well-fitted swimsuit or bikini should make you want to ask someone for their opinion, not hide behind the change room door! It should make you feel confident, sexy and accentuate your assets.

Which body shapes are best suited to your latest swimwear styles? A small-busted girl! Being my debut collection (pictured below), I didn’t delve too far into swimwear that doubles as a booster, sucker, lose-10kg-underwear set! So, the tops are more suited to those with an A-C cup. I am definitely looking into styles that suit more shapes next season.

What’s best about designing swimwear? Definitely, getting your samples back. Working away on a laptop for hours upon end is so worthwhile when you get a physical product back in your hands. It just makes you think: “I made this!” – which is an awesome feeling.

What’s hardest? This first year has been hard because I’ve had to learn so much by myself. The actual designing of swimwear I find very simple! I could do four collections a year if it weren’t for all the “business” side of things!

What inspires you? My biggest inspiration is the outdoors. Natural things like plants, animals and landscapes. My mum always said that “nature always gets it right.”  Other than that, I create a lot of mood boards – colour is very important to me!

What other swimwear brands or designers do you admire? Obviously, Zimmermann, because both their swimwear and ready-to-wear are just incredible! I love Isabel Marant too, because who doesn’t? And ACACIA Swimwear because they’re so humble and sweet, yet amazing businesswomen!

What’s your burning ambition? I have given up trying to work out what “the end goal is.” I already know my mind is a busy place and I move on from projects or ideas quickly.

What are you currently working on? My spring/summer 2015 swim collection! Also, an exhibition of 20 or so paintings and dealing with a 10-week-old kelpie puppy.

summer, swimwear, swimwear designer, australian fashion designers

6 Up-And-Coming Australian Designers

Here at SHESAID we love nothing more than to support up-and-coming Australian talent, and designers are always at the top of our list. Whether it’s bridal couture gowns, jewellery or even underwear, these collections are always sourced from high-quality materials are and unique in their own particular fields. Keep an eye out for the following six Australian designers who are making waves here and on an international level.

RELATED: Check out the Interview with Australian Fashion Designer Daniel Avakian here

Leah Da Gloria

Soon after graduating from the Sydney Institute of Design in 2007, Leah Da Gloria has been working diligently within the fashion industry before launching her own self-titled bridal label in 2012. Most recently, Leah had the oppourtunity through Fashion Palette to show her latest collection at NYFW.

6 Up and Coming Australian Designers  JASN ALTN

You may have already heard about Jason Alton since his debut into the Australian fashion scene with the remarkable success of Nudie Jeans. Now Jason has turned his passion onto luxury inverted diamond rings, with a flagship store opening in Gould, St Bondi very soon.

6 Up and Coming Australian Designers

Misha Collection

Melbourne-based fashion designer Michelle Aznavorian launched her label Misha Collection which aims to offer high-end silhouettes at affordable prices. Much-loved by celebrities such as Maria Menounos and Nikki Phillips, the collections are also adored by bloggers and fashion enthusiasts worldwide.

6 Up and Coming Australian Designers Salasai

Perth-based label Salasai is known for it’s soft tailoring and funky, bold prints. Head designers Kirsha Whitcher and Kelly Watson create unisex pieces which are easy to wear, and are very innovative – perfect for consumers who want to make the most of their pieces.

6 Up and Coming Australian Designers  Lexi Clothing

Lead designer Pat Georgiou aims to create every girls dream dress – using streamlined production methods which results in high-end products at an affordable price point. Lexi’s collection of items flatter the female form, and help incorporate some of her vintage designs with a modern twist.

6 Up and Coming Australian Designers

Mocha Salt

Travelling all over the world gave designer Rik Van Donk a flair for detail, and quickly made him realise the essential products a globetrotting man would require for an overseas trip. All swim shorts are easy to store, quick drying and are available in two different lengths.

6 Up and Coming Australian Designers

Images via Call Me Mimi, Accessory Agenda

Juli Grbac’s Fashionable Life In New York

She’s uber talented, smart and beautiful and if you don’t her name yet, chances are, you will become very familiar with Juli Grbac soon. A fashion designer hailing from Brisbane, Juli was the first winner of international TV show Project Runway Australia (pictured below) in 2008. She famously designed a dress for singer Kelly Rowland which the ex-Destiny’s Child chanteuse wore at a concert for Prince Albert of Monaco in Cannes.

Taught to sew by her dressmaker mother, Juli developed a love of fashion at a very young age. She studied fashion design in Brisbane and London before working for several big fashion names, including luxury Brisbane-based label Easton Pearson, before starting her own label, Grbac, in 2002, at the tender age of 22.

And as part of her Project Runway Australia prize, Juli had her designs showcased at the L’Oreal Melbourne Fashion Week in 2009, which received rave reviews, as well as a six-page spread in the now defunct Madison Magazine.

Juli Grbac, fashion designer, glamour, New York
A darling of the fashion set, Juli showed at the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Festival Brisbane, her label was stocked in top-end fashion retailers and she opened a stand-alone store in Brisbane’s funky Fortitude Valley which closed one year later.

Juli’s recent successes include re-designing Virgin Australia’s crew uniforms in 2010. The glamorous and elegant uniforms (pictured) were unveiled in 2011, with a catwalk show featuring Elle Macpherson and 60 Virgin Australia crew members.

Here, Juli talks SHESAID readers through her amazing success and plans for the future, having relocated to a glamorous bachelorette pad in bustling New York.

What drew you to NY? Are you living the dream? I was 33 and came on my own to New York for a holiday, just after Christmas.  On my second day here, I felt like I had truly arrived home. I knew that this was where I was meant to be at this time in my life. I made the move within nine months, and I haven’t looked back. I am very blessed that I get to travel back and forth between Brisbane and NYC. I come back to Australia every two months, to check-in on my clients, which offers me opportunities to see my family and friends in Brisbane. The travel can be exhausting, but it’s really the dream situation.

Please describe your amazing NY apartment and how you came to find it? I live downtown in the Financial District, one street away from Wall Street. I had a broker find this apartment for me, and when I saw the place, I knew it was the one for me. André Balazs, famous for designing The Standard hotels and The Mercer Hotel in SoHo, designed the apartment building, so the style factor is seriously there. It is a chic place to call home! I live alone (pictured below) – my life is truly ala Carrie Bradshaw right now: a closet full of shoes, cocktails for dinner and I’m enjoying dating in the Big Apple.

Juli Grbac, fashion designer, glamour, New York

Your Instagram followers recently got to see you at NYFW (main shot above). What were some highlights? Fashion Week is such a great time in New York!  It is a lot of fun and I get to see all my fashion idols at the shows and parties. I have made many industry contacts, so while attending the shows as a new local, it definitely ends up being a mix of both business and pleasure.

From designing a dress for Kelly Rowland to uniforms for Virgin Australia, what’s been your career highlight to date? I will never forget dressing Kelly Rowland! It was one of my favourite moments on Project Runway Australia. After also having the opportunity to show at Australian Fashion Week and the Brisbane Fashion Festival, it was surreal to also win the bid to design the uniform scheme for Virgin Australia (pictured below). I also love being a part of the Virgin family, and seeing the crew looking fabulous whenever I board a VA flight.  You would think nothing could top that, but being blessed to work now from New York, for Virgin Australia and my other collaborations, is a dream come true.

What’s best about designing for Virgin? Designing uniforms, as opposed to a collection of ready-to-wear, totally took me out of my comfort zone. I have always embraced a challenge and have loved this experience to fuse the needs for an international airline with my signature designs. My favourite part is getting on a VA flight and the girls thanking me for their new uniforms. That, for me, makes everything worthwhile! For the uniform, we developed our own Virgin Australia red – I even had to fly to Shanghai to approve it!

What new, exciting projects have you been working on? My design business has shifted from a ready-to-wear line – which I of course loved creating for my customers, to now purely consulting for several brands. I can’t wait to share my designs again with the public. I have been working on a chic line of travel accessories for the past year, everything from travel clutches right through to luxe luggage. We will be launching it next year and I am dying to see these pieces floating around the Virgin Australia cabins and lounges! I know what every jet set woman needs: I travel so much myself that I have a packing routine and know that there is a gap in the market for what I want to create. Think jet set chic, with spectacular hardware. I plan to bring the same attention to detail I had with my garments to my new travel accessories. I can’t wait to share the collection with SHESAID readers next year. Watch this space!

Juli Grbac, fashion designer, glamour, New York

What do you love most about being a fashion designer? I love transforming the way a woman feels about herself. When my business was more focused on made-to-measure garments, I used to love the moments where a client may have just had a baby, and had her first post-baby event to attend, like a wedding. Seeing the joy on her face was the ultimate repayment.It is truly not just how someone looks in my designs, but how I can make them feel. That is my true reward.

Who are your style icons? My ultimate style crush is Olivia Palermo. I have always been a fan of her style. She tasks risks and gently pushes boundaries, while always maintaining femininity. I love her eye for putting looks together! I always love what Kimye, Ciara and Miranda Kerr are wearing at the airports. The check-in counter is the new street style and I look forward to sharing my upcoming collection of travel accessories.

Who are your favourite fashion designers? Valentino is the ultimate for me. He is the king of feminine and beautiful shapes, without going over-the-top. I also love what the girls at Marchesa are doing. They share Valentino’s aesthetic, but their designs are so whimsical and dream-like and their latest London show was to-die-for!

How do you balance business and pleasure? Working for yourself is the greatest challenge. You need to ensure self-control and self-motivation. It can be hard to get into the work-zone, when you’re living in the fabulous playground that is New York! However, I have worked for myself for the past 12 years, so I get the work done. I schedule one night a week to focus on getting organized. On that night, I will clean, organize my week ahead and pay bills and… Spray tan! Living in NYC is challenging at times – it is the city that never sleeps and there is always something going on. When I first got here, I would always try to go to every event possible to socialise and network. That novelty wears thin, very quickly. It gets exhausting, so I am a lot more selective with events now and really choose to spend time with people who lift me up and support me.

Do you ever pinch yourself because of your amazing success? Every morning, I wake up and thank God, not just for the success I have had so far, but for my health, my family and my friends. It has been challenging, but I never gave up and I knew it would pay off. I always pushed myself, with all the successful projects that have been shared with the public, and many that didn’t see the green light. At times, I still find it to be a struggle, with so much I still want to achieve and share, but after so many years, I am grateful to keep feeling inspired. I love my work, but cannot wait to slowly develop a lifestyle approach with my brand.

What are your favourite NY landmarks? Bergdorf Goodman and Barneys! Those two department stores are one of the only reasons I go uptown here in Manhattan. I also love having lunch on top of Bergdorf’s and that surreal view overlooking Central Park!

What do you miss most about Australia? I miss my family. I have always had the most supportive family and being alone in a big city can get hard. So, when I land back at Brisbane International, I already feel the love!  I also love our laid-back lifestyle, we don’t take the bad things in life too seriously, especially in Brisbane, and we just live in the now. Australia will always be home however I am just enjoying this international lifestyle while I can.

What advice would you give to other aspiring fashion designers? Never give up. This is, of course, not new advice, but even when you have no money and you feel there is nothing more you can do… There is always something! Get a part- time job (anywhere) for regular income, and then spend the rest of your time perfecting the craft you believe you can shine in, and gain as much work experience as possible. I pretty much worked for free for eight years, as making money in your own self-funded fashion line is near impossible in a small local market, but I worked part-time at a pharmacy to maintain my dream. It is lots of hours, and the hustle is real; but if you stick with it, it does pay off. Truly believe in yourself. Always believe in your dreams; and always trust your gut feeling, when going into business with anyone.

What personal sacrifices and obstacles have you had to overcome?
One of the biggest obstacles was dealing with the business side of things. I am naturally a creative, however managing the books, doing budgets, selling to wholesalers and general running of the business was really hard. I couldn’t afford anyone to help so it was all just me learning as I went along. No regrets though, I have lost all my money twice and bounced back both times so if anything it’s just made me stronger. As for sacrifices, when I was 22, I was slaving away with my mum in the work room under my parents’ house. I was never out with my friends. I worked and worked and worked. Sacrifices are all part of the journey, knowing you are moving towards your goal makes everything that much easier.

Project Runway image via www.smh.com.au and VA uniform pic via www.boudist.com.

Interview with Australian Fashion Designer Daniel Avakian

Daniel Avakian is one of Australia’s most up-and-coming designers who everyone is currently talking about at the moment. You may have seen his designs on television already with The Voice Australia winner, Anja Nissen wearing a luxurious sequin dress during the grand finale. SHESAID had a chat to Daniel about his inspirations, what’s next for spring/summer and his most memorable red carpet experience thus far.

What inspires you the most when designing?

The most exciting part is watching the translation of my ideas into finished garments for the collection. My design handwriting is driving styles that make a women feel beautiful and confident with an edge. I aim to focus on pieces that have structure because I find that they capture this aesthetic and i am always considering fresh silhouettes and shapes to compliment this.

Is there a particular process you go through when putting together a new collection?

Pre-collection I usually spend weeks absorbed by my influences – music, social media gazing, gallery visits and my life travels are all thrown into a sort of creative soup in my mind. When I feel like the time is right I turn on my favourite Fleetwood Mac album and start sketching my ideas onto paper. A collection usually takes about a day or two to get the designs just right.

If a woman can only purchase one product from your collection, what would it be and why?

DA leather leggings are a key staple in this seasons collection. We spent a lot of time perfecting the fit and quality to make them a signature piece.

Could you share some of your most memorable red carpet experiences.

The most memorable was seeing Sneaky Sound System front woman Connie Mitchell rock my ‘Lollypop’ dress at the 2007 Aria Awards. I still remember sitting at the table sipping a glass of orange juice watching Connie rock that dress. The DA brand had debuted at Australian Fashion Week several weeks before.

You have dressed the likes of Delta Goodrem, Laura Dundovic and The Voice AU winner, Anja Nissen just to name a few. Who is the next person you would love to see in one of your designs, and what would it be?

I am absolutely delighted to see my designs worn by the likes of Delta, Laura, Anja and others since the re-launch of DA this year. It would be equally as exciting to see DA worn by Diane Kruger or Jennifer Lawrence on the red carpet at the Oscars one day.

Could you share a sneak peek of spring/summer for Daniel Avakian the label?

The aim of the latest Daniel Avakian SS 2014-15 collection was to give the DA woman her identity. The name of the collection is ‘Origins’. The DA woman is cool, sexy, sophisticated and powerful. Upon completing the collection I worked closely with stylist David Bonney who’s creative direction for the shoot complimented photographer Harold David. The result successfully captures the fingerprint of the DA woman.

Image via Ninemsn

Michael Lo Sordo Thrust Onto The Global Catwalk

Michael Lo Sordo has been named the DHL Express Fashion Export Scholarship recipient for 2014, which will see him and his label given the tools to help take the label onto the global stage. 

Michael Lo Sordo, known for his timeless and luxurious designs, has been growing his label in leaps and bounds over the last 6 years, recently securing Net-A-Porter as an exclusive international stockist to launch in September 2014. His designs have been spotted on celebrities such as Jessica Mauboy, Montana Cox, and Kendall Jenner of Kardashian family fame, as well as being the go-to-man for big name fashion bloggers including Margaret Zhang (Shine By Three), Nicole Warne (Gary Pepper Girl), and Alexandra Spencer (4th and Bleeker).

Lo Sordo receives AU $10,000 worth of international freight, a DHL Express mentorship to supercharge his export strategy and, for the first time, mentoring from IMG Fashion in the US. Following on from the launch of the DHL Exported competition earlier this year, he will also be flown to New York for Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week where he will meet with an international buyer.

MICHAEL LO SORDO, DHL, fashion scholarship, winner, Australian fashion, fashion designer, Australian fashion designer

Lo Sordo said he was overwhelmed by the honour and what this means for his business: “My brand philosophy has always been about understanding our market, and who the Michael Lo Sordo customer is, as I believe this is the key idea to achieving our future goals.

“Since the label began, I knew it was important to cement our foundation strongly within the Australian market before branching out overseas. Over the years we have built a reputation for our designs with strong support from celebrities as well as local and international media and buyers.

As part of his ongoing business strategy, Lo Sordo and his team are currently working on developing their online marketing and social media efforts, building a brand new website which will allow them to have a regularly updated blog and e-boutique. 

The job of reviewing this year’s entrants’ look books and credentials fell to an esteemed panel of judges, including Elle Turner, Director, Strategy and Brand Development, IMG Fashion; Alice McCall, acclaimed Australian fashion designer; Prue Lewington, Sunday Telegraph Fashion Editor; and Michael McManus, Sales Manager at DHL Express.

Alice McCall said Michael Lo Sordo was an obvious choice due to his understanding of range planning, ability to appeal to a range of demographics and styles, successful export strategy and huge potential for international growth: “Michael has that subtle gift in that he can make collections stand out, but not shout. You can imagine his collections fitting in seamlessly at Barneys or Bergdorf Goodman.

“Finding this balance is critical for international success. But taking a brand to the global market is about more than just the aesthetic, it is about delivering on time; understand the fit of the garments; and having a great quality product. Michael has all this and more. He shows a real balance between commercial appeal and having a unique twist – I can’t wait to see where he goes from here.”

The DHL Express Fashion Export Scholarship is about helping to support up and coming Australian designers. Previous winners include KAHLO, Haryono Setiadi, We Are Handsome and Bec & Bridge, who have each successfully utilised the Scholarship prize to help catapult their business overseas. 

End Of An Era: Sass and Bide Founders Leave The Label

The time has come… Owners Sarah-Jane Clarke and Heidi Middleton depart the fashion label Sass and Bide they founded in 1999. The two began their global empire as a stall at London’s Portobllo Road Market selling denim products. Since that time it has sky rocketed to a well-known household name, presenting collections firstly at Australian Fashion Week in 2001 and then renowned London Fashion Week in 2002. The progression did not stop there, with the label being individually asked to show in New York the next year and the eight seasons following.

Now, 15 years since its launch, after selling 65 per cent of the shares to Myer for $42.25 million, they have decided to leave the brand in the department stores hands in order to venture off on new individual adventures. There has been an obvious shift in position titles, with newly appointed design director as Anthony Cuthertson, with experience from high-end labels including Mulberry, Victoria Beckham and MaxMara, and the place of art director has been given to Bonnie O’Hare.

With Myer taking over operations at Sass and Bide they released a statement to Vogue:

“Heidi and Sarah-Jane’s departure from Sass & Bide has been in planning for some time as they have been transitioning out of the business. Myer wishes Heidi and Sarah-Jane well, they go with our great good wishes, and we expect they will be associated with Sass & Bide for a long time.” 

In an interview, Heidi and Sarah-Jane explain after a decade and a half its time for them to move on, the joint decision came at a time when the brand is in a good place, flourishing and ever growing. The newly selected CEO is an experienced leader in luxury labels, and myself along with others lovers of Sass and Bide are sad to see the two women leave but excited for what is to come.

By Amy Miller

Sass & Bide Collaborates With Make-A-Wish-Foundation

Sass and Bide creators Sarah-Jane Clarke and Heidi Middleton are once again partnering up with Make-a-Wish Foundation in order to raise funds for seriously ill children. The iconic Australian designers are known for their philanthropic nature after collaborating with numerous charities in the past.

In fact, this will be the third year the duo will assist Make-A-Wish Foundation by designing one limited edition lariat style necklace. The piece will be available in Rose Gold, Silver and Gold, and sold at Sass & Bide Boutiques in Myer and via the online store for $35, where all proceeds will go to Make-A-Wish Foundation.

MakeAWish, Sass&Bide, WishUponAStar, Charity, Middleton&Clarke, Fashion, Australia

Since it’s launch in 2012, the Wish Upon A Star Campaign has raised over $160,000. This amazing effort came by inspiration from a tattoo both designers share as a symbol of creativity.

The Sass & Bide say:

“Our star represents enduring friendship & love, and by partnering with Make-A-Wish Australia we hope the proceeds of these necklaces can help make a very real difference to the lives of seriously ill children around the country.”

A social media campaign has also been developed in the hopes of spreading the word by encouraging everyone to take a ‘Star Selfie’. The Selfie should be innovative and fun with the necklace in clear sight.

“What could be more important than helping to bring hope, strength and joy to unwell children and their families. We encourage everyone to use the power of social media to spread the message and work towards building awareness around this important campaign.”

Get on board today, be sure to add the hashtag #wishuponastar and #SBMakeAWish to the photo on the social media platform of your choice, Facebook, Twitter or Instagram and be a part of this important conversation.

Images via sassandbide.com

By Amy Miller

Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Launches In Sydney

Carla Zampatti officially launched Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia in Sydney last night to a host of local and international guests, including celebrities, fellow designers, buyers and bloggers.

On receiving the offer to launch 2014 Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia, Carla Zampatti said: “I am delighted to work in partnership with a brand like Mercedes-Benz. It is synonymous with innovative, timeless design and excellent quality just like my own brand. I feel very honoured to have been asked to open this prestigious event.”

fashion week, Australia, Sydney, designers

In 1965, Carla Zampatti produced her first small collection for Zampatti Pty Limited, followed two years later by a national launch and, in 1970, by the establishment of Carla Zampatti Pty Ltd. The Carla Zampatti label is now renowned for beautiful clothes that combine Australian creativity with Italian style.

Over the years Carla Zampatti has continually expanded her retail network to create a chain of 27 boutiques and concept stores across Australia. Today her clothes are a distinctive part of the modern Australian lifestyle.

The Australian Fashion Laureate was awarded to Carla in August 2008. An award polled by members of the industry, an initiative of the New South Wales Government and IMG Fashion. This award recognizes outstanding achievement and is the highest award honoured in the Australian fashion industry.

Already a Member of the Order of Australia (AM), Carla was appointed Companion of the Order of Australia (AC) as part of the Queen’s Birthday Honours in June 2009. This honour recognises Carla’s contributions to fashion and business as well as being a role model for women.

Images via Megan Hess, Carla Zampatti and MB Fashion Week on Instagram

Spring Racing Style for Every Body Shape

Spring has certainly sprung and as any fine filly will tell you, frocking up for Sydney or Melbourne’s Spring Racing Carnival is fun with a capital ‘F’ – especially if you know what works best for your shape.

Brisbane fashion designer, mum of two and authority on dressing a woman’s body shape, Sacha Drake, says it’s all about identifying your shape and dressing accordingly.

“I am an ‘hourglass with pear tendencies’” laughs Sacha, who is dressed in her stunning ‘Fumetta’ silk kaftan dress when we meet in her Woollahra store in Sydney’s eastern suburbs.

“I’ve been in business – and keep loving my business – for over 10 years now because I listen to my customer and come up with design solutions for various problems. It’s all about helping.” says Sacha, whose celebrity fans include Kerri-Anne Kennerly, Deborah Hutton, Georgie Gardner and Jesinta Campbell.

To make flattering choices even easier, Sacha identifies the five most common body shapes – hourglass, column, pear, apple and pregnant – and lists what body shapes her individual garments work best for on all her clothing’s swing tags and online.

Sacha’s Spring Racing Styling Tips for:

tatumdress

Hourglass – typically have curvy bust and hips, narrow waist, medium width shoulders and slim or shapely thighs.

Celebrity inspiration – Scarlett Johansson

  • Show off your slender waist! Accentuate your curves and avoid anything too roomy in the waist. If you have a bigger bust, keep your look streamlined with tailored panels and simple silhouettes. A lean pencil skirt or A-Line shape will be flattering.

Go for:

  • ‘Tatum’ fitted cotton dress (above). A streamlined tailored fit which can create shape, perfect for an hourglass figure. The cap sleeve balances out the hip and the v-neckline draws focus up to the face. It’s a classic shape.
  • ‘Simone’ cotton wrap dress. Versatile. The broad collar frames the face and draws attention to the face whilst the wrap shape adds structure and the A-line skirt streamlines the hips.

blairdress

Column – typically have shoulders and hips of same width, thicker waist with flat tummy, small to medium bust, slender legs and arms.

Celebrity inspiration – Nicole Kidman

  • Flaunt those lean limbs! Look for styles that can be wrapped or tied to create a waistline. Styles with wider shoulder lines will make your waist appear narrower. Lean pencil skirts or A-line shapes will suit.

Go for:

  • ‘Liza’. You want to show off those long, lean limbs. It’s a high neck with a tie at the back and hangs loosely which you can leave fluid or belt it with our ‘invisible’ belt that creates shape by blousing the dress.
  • ‘Lylah’ and ‘Blair’ silk wrap dresses (above). Effortlessly glamorous. A softer style that works well, in either the long or short sleeve. Underneath is a stretchy slip and it works because it is a wrap and very flexible. It fits nicely across the body and the flare of the skirt accommodates any hip.

benniedress

Pear – typically have narrow shoulders, a neat bust and waist, wider hips and curvaceous thighs, shapely calves.

Celebrity inspiration – Jennifer Lopez

  • Show off your slim upper body. Create a wider shoulder-line with sleeve details or bare shoulders to balance out hips. A-Line styles that skim hips and thighs work well. Hem length should be on your knee to show off shapely calves.

Go for:

  • ‘Reuben’ fifties style dress. The structured bodice, flared skirt and easy fit waist with a tie which can be tightened to create shape will work for you. The square neckline works for small or large busts too. If you’re self-conscious about your arms, a shrug, bolero or ballet-wrap style cardigan will work.
  • ‘Bennie’ fifties style dress (above). A classic best-seller of ours. A fitted, panelled bodice and square neckline flatters small and large busts. The cap sleeve provides upper-arm coverage and balances your proportion if you have narrow shoulders. The flared skirt hides a larger hip and bottom.

venezueladress

Apple – typically have broad shoulders, a voluptuous bust, a rounded tummy, slim hips and thighs.

Celebrity inspiration – Oprah Winfrey

  • Flaunt your cleavage. Choose garments with open necklines to draw the eye to your face. Soft draping and ruching that skims not clings to a fuller tummy is best. Look for clean, tailored lines to streamline your body and show off slim legs.

Go for:

  • ‘Tyler’ one shoulder kaftan dress. One shoulder, asymmetrical shapes are perfect for apples because it draws the eye up to the shoulder, away from the wider bust. It hangs loosely from the bust and shows off the slim leg.
  • ‘Venezuela’ stretch shirt dress (above).  Streamlined and fitted with a v-neck and a pencil skirt. This creates an hourglass shape by cinching in the waist. It’s especially flattering because it skims over the body and it doesn’t ‘cling’.

martinadress

Pregnant – typically tummy is most prominent feature. Bust and hip size will vary for the individual.

Celebrity inspiration – Kate Winslet

  • Be proud of your bump! Keep a feminine silhouette by creating shape under your bust. Choose open necklines and show off your slim legs to ensure you’re not ‘all tummy’. Soft, stretchy dresses are easy to wear as you grow, plus perfect for post-pregnancy.

Go for:

  • ‘Martina’ jersey dress. You want to be comfortable and it depends how pregnant you are. You also don’t want to invest in a $500 dress! The fluted sleeves, adjustable ties to fit and flatter any bust and fluid, soft jersey that skims the body grows with most pregnant shapes. It’s plain but you can really jazz it up.

 Visit Sacha’s online boutique at www.sachadrake.com.au.

Tell us about your spring racing style – do you prefer traditional or more on-trend dresses for the races?

Our Top 5 Australian Fashion Designers

We love Australian fashion for its originality and unique combination of fun, chic and style, so we thought we’d take a look at our 5 favourite Australian fashion designers.

Collette Dinnigan

Collette Dinnigan got her start in the costume department of the Australian Broadcasting Department, but has made her name in chic styles for the modern woman. In 1995, the designer was the first Australian to show her ready-to-wear collection in Paris. Dinnigan’s Autumn/Winter 2013 ready-to-wear collection is highlighted by slim sheath silhouettes in neutrals of black, white and silver with accents of leather or lace – many of which would make breathtaking bridal gowns – and for something for classic bridal, she also designs a stunning bridal collection. Stunning tailoring and timeless, feminine design is why Collette will always be one of our favourite Australian designers.

carlazampatti

Carla Zampatti

We’re happy to report that the grand dame of Australian fashion designer is still going strong at 71. The Italian-born Zampatti move to Australia with her family as a child and debuted her first limited collection in 1965. Two years later, the designer went national and in 1970, created Carla Zampatti Limited. Zampatti’s career achievements include a chain of boutiques, being the first Aussie designer to introduce swimwear into her collection, a pair of fragrances and even redesigning a car! In 1985, Zampatti partnered with Ford Australia to create the Laser, an auto especially for women. For Autumn/Winter 2013, Zampatti offered a collection that’s classic, ladylike and feminine with lots of black softened by shades of cream and coral. The designer creates for the modern woman, with chic business suits and elegant eveningwear. For four decades, Carla Zampatti has epitomised true style.

zimmermann

Zimmermann

The design team of Nicole and Simone Zimmermann have been delighting savvy fashionistas with their clever cutting and delectable fabrics since 1991. The sisters are especially noted for their body-sculpting swimsuits in trendy graphic prints that are now spotted on beach babes from Bali to Barcelona. The Zimmermann collection for Autumn/Winter 2013 featured frankly feminine dresses in soft, warm natural tones of almond, pale yellow, gold and grey—just the thing for warming up a cool day. The show-stopper of this set was a gown of gold foil with an irregular hem, perfect for showing off your sexy shape!

sassandbide

Sass & Bide

Heidi Middleton and Sarah-Jane Clarke have come a long way since their humble beginnings of selling jeans they had customised from a stall at London’s Portobello Road Market. After relocating to Sydney, the pair unveiled their first collection at Australian Fashion Week in 2001. A chance meeting in New York with actress Sarah Jessica Parker led the designers to create a few pieces for Sex and the City, which gave worldwide recognition to the Sass & Bide brand. The Sass & Bide Autumn/Winter collection ranges from floor-length knit dresses to separates of shiny yellow vinyl. The pairing of a rigidly tailored black-and-white striped jacket with those yellow pants shows plenty of sass.

lisaho

Lisa Ho

Success came fast for Lisa Ho, who launched her own brand just weeks after finishing design school, selling her cutting-edge designs at Sydney’s Paddington Market, and becoming one of the most famous names in Australian fashion. Her pieces have been seen on a bevy of celebs including Delta Goodrem, Miranda Kerr, Sarah Wynter, Elle Macpherson and Jennifer Lopez. Highlights from her Autumn/Winter 2013 collection include fitted jackets with A-line or pencil skirts in colours of black, blue and wine. Sadly, Ho’s future is currently in limbo, as the Lisa Ho Group was recently closed down due to being deeply in debt. Hopefully she’ll bounce back and relaunch her brand.

Who is your favourite Australian designer?

London Fashion Week

Elspeth Gibson

London Fashion Week. What red blooded Aussie gal wouldn?t give up her Prada handbag (or boyfriend) to be seated next to Liz Hurley or Cate Blanchett at the London Fashion Week parades? Forget pushing your way through the GP (general public) to catch a glimpse of Megan Gale at the latest David Jones in store parades. We?re talking French Champagne, lots of perfume, air kisses and ?I?ll email you!? in the London?s fashion world annual showcase. LFW (London Fashion Week for those in the know) is as much a social event as it is a chance for designers to show off their wares to the world?s media and fashion buyers.Imagine sitting next to Madge (Madonna) at the Elspeth Gibson show as her models strut their stuff down the catwalk in the latest dreamy collection in feminine pinks and pale blues. Showing her versatility Gibson also showed excellent use of

Paul Smith

bright vibrant colours like magenta and a stunning peacock blue. Gibson?s collection was very Collette Dinnigan-ish in its use of feathers, crystals and lots of beading. Her ?Vision of Eden? collection one of her best yet.Don?t worry if you haven?t seen Gibson?s clothes in stores locally just yet. See www.londonfashionweek.co.uk for the total experience without the airfare and the pushing and shoving sweetie! LFW is a hotbed of local and undiscovered talent, feature lots of young, up and coming UK designers Showing along side industry stalwarts like Paul Smith and Julien McDonald.

US designer Ben De Lisi, a current flavour of the month, proved his popularity by packing in a full house at his parade. Fans of his clothes, like Kate Winslet and Rachel Weisz saw a very Moroccan ?inspired collection in both the mens and women?s clothes he showed.

One thing all of the parades have had in common is the return of the mini. Get on that Stairmaster Girlfriend! Great legs are back in fashion! Forget that long, flowing peasant look that covered everything we had ? next season?s ubiquitous must have is the mini!

In the first few days of the LFW, the Pelmet Mini that just covers the buttocks was seen in nearly every designer?s parade. This teeny weeny botty sash, favoured by Christina Aguilera and Holly Valance, who were both in attendance, is the hottest item for the coming season. While I can?t see myself running around town in a skimpy mini teamed with stilettos and bare legs, plenty of London chicks have braved the freezing English winter to do just that.

It seems some people will do anything to stay ahead of the Fashion Police!

So high tail it back to the gym girls. The mini is coming to our shores! You have been warned!

Greatest Job Ever - Wine a trip to Lake Tahoe
Greatest Job Ever - Wine a trip to Lake Tahoe