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Exclusive Preview: Collette Dinnigan Exhibition

By Alison Voight

Mark it in the diary fashionistas – the first exhibition to celebrate trailblazing fashion designer Collette Dinnigan opens this weekend at Sydney’s Powerhouse Museum. Almost 2 years in the making, Collette Dinnigan: Unlaced is a dynamic display of the designer’s signature styles and creative process. With Collette herself closely involved with the project as creative partner, look forward to a unique insight into her inspirations and evolution as a designer.

RELATED: 5 Minutes With Top Model, Ashley Hart

Dinnigan fans won’t be disappointed with the beautiful collection of garments showcased, from glamorous ready to wear dresses shown at Paris and New York Fashion Week, to dazzling embellished evening wear sought by Hollywood’s A list. Featuring ensembles, accessories and archival material from the Museum’s collection and Dinnigan’s personal archive, the exhibition portrays her romantic, feminine design aesthetic in a series of striking themed sets.

Opening with bridal wear, the designer’s meticulous attention to artistry is evident. Hand embroidered and appliquéd floral motifs impressively adorn the bodice of a rustic French inspired wedding dress, while an art deco inspired gown wows with its elegant beaded detailing.

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Exclusive Preview: Collette Dinnigan Exhibition

Dinnigan’s signature use of lace is referenced, a nod to her early beginnings in lingerie design in the 90s and her use of unique French lace finishings in evening wear.

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A virtual catwalk adds an engaging element to the impressive 100 garments displayed, pulled from retrospective red carpet to resort collections.

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Realised by award winning stage designer and artist Anna Tregloan, the themed sets aim to depict the creative perspective of Dinnigan – from the glitzy opulence of dressing the celebrity set, to a whimsical depiction of her children’s Enfant launch inspired by the birth of her daughter.

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Fashion fans will enjoy reading about Collette’s shifting influences and the origins of iconic designs such as the River Snowflake Dress (After reading her daughter The Snow Queen, Dinnigan designed the dress to appear covered in shimmering snowflakes). In editing over 25 years of archival materials for the exhibition, Collette said she aimed to “show what fashion is about – it’s about change and there’s not necessarily just a chronological order of what I’ve done, it’s much more emotive.”

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All images via Voight Photography and Design

September 3, 2015

Get The Look: Collette Dinnigan’s Romantic Hairstyle

The TRESemme Australia team, lead by UK stylist James Pecis, created the delicate “innocent” inspired hair as seen on the catwalk at Collette Dinnigan’s Spring/Summer 2014 show at Paris Fashion Week.

Dinnigan worked closely with Pecis on creating the hair for the show, inspired by the youthful innocence of David Hamilton images. James then took these references and gave the hair a very modern and relevant fashion feel.

We think this would make a pretty, romantic wedding hairstyle. Here’s how to get the look direct from the backstage team:

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1. Start off the look by using TRESemme Salon Finish Control Mousse – starting from roots through to ends on dry hair.

2. Then blow dry hair to give it ultimate fullness and texture.

3. Once the hair is dried, separate the hair into sections and spray it generously it with TRESemme Fresh Start Dry Shampoo, applying it this way (section by section) helps to give the hair a light and fluffy texture.

4. Then set the hair with 19-inch curling irons alternating sections giving it a natural and organic look and curl to the hair.

5. The hair is then back-combed. At the roots take two lines diagonally back from the temples and  use  the TRESemme Freeze Hold Hairspray one inch away from hair, then back-combing to create a brillo pad cushion to hold the pins.

6. Create a side part on the right side, at the recession, and roll the hair away from the face and back pin it. Do the same on the other side, rolling the hair away from the face and pining it with French pins, then finish off with a light spritz of TRESemme Freeze Hold Hairspray.

Are you a fan of this romantic hairstyle?

October 1, 2013

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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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?

August 5, 2013