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Emerging Swimwear Label Makes Fashion Festival Debut

Two Queensland sisters set to make their fashion show debut at this year’s historic, 10th anniversary Mercedes-Benz Fashion Festival Brisbane are taking on the big boys in swimwear fashion and design – and winning.

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Simone Wilkins, 23, and Carly Wilkins, 30, (pictured) who split their time between their native Gold Coast and Bali, have been busily growing successful swimwear label Eau Paix Vie (EPV) since 2011.

And success has been swift; their quirky, colourful, fun and fresh swimwear label, which sells exclusively online via their website, has already caught the eye of countless A-list celebrities. Models-of-the-moment, TV personality Kendall Jenner, fellow swimwear designer Sahara Ray, new face of Seafolly Gigi Hadid and Victoria’s Secret hotbod Maud Welzen have already proudly donned EPV Swimwear designs.

fashion, Australian fashion designers, swimwear, Australian fashion label

Eau Paix Vie, which means “water, peace and life” in French, was thus named by the sisters because the words perfectly encapsulate what their label is all about: a fun approach to swimwear and life. And the Wilkins sisters’ signature, cheeky-cut and two-tone bottoms (pictured) have set them apart from the competitors, scoring them legions of young fashion fans and social media followers – not to mention the patronage of the aforementioned supermodels – in the process.

“We wanted to combine three simple words that represented our label, and added the French twist to capture an element of the love and inspiration we gain from travel,” says Carly, who spoke to me from the US, just prior to her getting on a plane to come home to Australia.

“Our travels inspire us a lot; we love keeping busy and exploring new places around the world and their respective people, cultures and environments. We like to keep the designs fun to reflect the carefree, happy vibe that we endeavour to represent.”

fashion, Australian fashion designers, swimwear, Australian fashion label

With some of the world’s hottest models proudly wearing their designs, you’d think the sisters would be fashion show veterans, but not so – they’ll be making their label debut at the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Festival Brisbane NEXT Hotel Next Gen Group Show on Wednesday, August 26 at 8.30pm.

“Seeing celebrities wear our swimwear is great, but we really take a lot from and appreciate everyday girls tagging us on their holiday pictures and the kind emails that we receive – it’s the small successes like that each day that contribute to great success,” Carly says.

“We are very excited to be taking part in MBFF as it’s our first fashion show and it’s close to our Australian base, as well as being the 10th anniversary of the event. We are thrilled to be a part of such a fun show and for people to see what we have been working on and just to experience the event.”

And given hot swimwear is a huge draw-card at the fashion festival, EPV is sure to attract plenty of attention, says Mercedes-Benz Fashion Festival Brisbane director Lindsay Bennett.

“It is always exciting to see next gen designers on the runway each year, as they bring fresh ideas and aesthetics,” Lindsay says. “The Mercedes-Benz Fashion Festival Brisbane is all about supporting local fashion talent and nurturing up-and-coming designers and we are proud to give them a platform to showcase their collections. Swimwear is certainly something Queensland is renowned for so we are looking forward to seeing Eau Paix Vie Swimwear’s bright and colourful collection!

“From what we have seen so far, Eau Paix Vie offers a great range of swimwear cuts, prints and unique colour combinations – it all evokes days at the beach and amazing Queensland summers and we look forward to seeing more from them on the runway. We can see many fashion lovers snapping up their swimwear this summer.”

fashion, Australian fashion designers, swimwear, Australian fashion label

Prior to launching EPV, Carly had two degrees under her belt and was studying a Masters in Criminal Analysis, while Simone was working in fashion retail. And despite their lack of formal fashion training, both young women put everything on the line to launch their dream job. While EPV’s designing is done primarily in Australia, it’s made using the highest quality Italian fabrics, with the manufacturing process completed in Indonesia.

“Simone had recently returned to Australia from travelling in Europe and I had returned from living in Asia. We decided we should just take the risk and do it!” Carly says. “It did take a lot of time to refine everything – an ever-evolving and continuing process – we just started at bottom and continued to work to create the label we have today.”

And while the sisters have different roles in their business – Carly is the business brain, while Simone is the design and creative end – the sisters share a clear vision for a successful swimwear label with an office in their beloved New York City. But like any emerging business brand, they’ve suffered some highs and lows along their path to success.

“As sisters, it can sometimes be trying [working together],” Carly says. “But we get to do something we love and we can work from anywhere in the world! We are passionate about what we do and I think that shows a lot on our brand. The worst part is probably the unpredictability of it all – which designs will be popular and which may not be – translating to what sells and what doesn’t.

“We signed on with a big PR company out of the US which just didn’t work out for us the way we had anticipated. I wouldn’t say that was a big mistake, as you learn and grow from everything, and it’s all an experience.”

fashion, Australian fashion designers, swimwear, Australian fashion label

The sisters’ favourite fashion brands include Free People, Planet Blue, Nike and fellow Aussie label One Teaspoon. And at the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Festival Brisbane – staged at the John Reid Pavilion at the Brisbane Showgrounds from August 23-28 –they’ll have the pleasure of showing alongside other rising stars including Peony Swimwear, Kabel Apparel, Roux May and more.

And in news just in, Myer is bringing The Face of Myer, Jennifer Hawkins, to walk the runway alongside Myer Ambassador, Kris Smith, in celebration of the event’s milestone 10th anniversary. For the full program, details and bookings, visit www.mbff.com.au.

How To Style High Waisted Jeans

If you’re looking for a solid winter staple, high waisted jeans are one of the best options for all body types. Not only are they so easy to find, but they come in various styles and washes to reflect your own personal style! Below are just a few different ways we love to style our high waisted jeans, what are yours?

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Cropped sweater

A cropped sweater is an easy way to look stylish and warm during the winter season. You can even choose to layer a few additional pieces such as coats and scarves for the colder weather ahead.

How To Style High Waisted Jeans

Tank top

Make like Kendall Jenner and style your favourite pair of high waisted jeans with a simple tan top. This look is effortless and with a pair of ankle boots, can take you from day to night.

How To Style High Waisted Jeans


You know what they say about stripes: they never go out of style! This classic look is comfy, cosy and is perfect for a casual get-together such as brunch and shopping with the girlfriends.

How To Style High Waisted Jeans

Duster coat

For those warmer days when the sun is shining, lose the layers in favour of a crisp duster coat. It’s the perfect casual piece since you can dress it down with sneakers, or up with a pair of stiletto heels.

How To Style High Waisted Jeans

Ankle boots

Keep your feet looking warm and stylish this winter with a pair of ankle boots. A solid pair of leather boots is the best investment since they only look better with wear!

How To Style High Waisted Jeans


In the accessory department, accentuate your waist with a thick leather belt. This is perfect for keeping your jeans at a consistent level, or simply if you want to highlight your hourglass figure.

How To Style High Waisted Jeans

Images via Gurl, Cosmopolitan, The Gloss, Bloglovin, Urban Outfitters, Style Caster

How To Wear A High-Slit Skirt

Otherwise known as a thigh-baring skirt is a super-hot trend which made its way down the runway over two years ago. With celebrity fans such as Rihanna, Angelina Jolie, and Kendall Jenner, this is one of the best ways to show off those legs!

Below are just a few different ways to rock this trend regardless of the weather, but a cosy jumper never hurt anyone!

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Crop top

Show off those washboard abdominal muscles by pairing this skirt with a crop-top. If the weather is just too cold, why not choose a top with long sleeves? At least it will keep your arms warm!

How To Wear A High-Slit Skirt


A stylish statement blazer is the ultimate accessory which completes any outfit. Choose something monochrome if you to get more wear out of it, but trust us, metallics are definitely back in style.

How To Wear A High-Slit Skirt


A smart button-up blouse can take your outfit to another level if paired with the right accessories. We were inspired by Rihanna’s look, which combines both clashing prints and lace-up heels for a modern touch.

How To Wear A High-Slit Skirt


Any pop of colour is a fantastic way to stand-out in a crowd, especially if you’re wearing a skirt like this! This look immediately caught our eye since it’s so original, and combines colours from similar palettes. Perfect for the girl who wants to add a bit of colour back into her wardrobe.

How To Wear A High-Slit Skirt

Tank top

A minimal tank top takes the edge away from a busy outfit, making it appropriate for the daytime. Keep any accessories to a minimum, since the skirt will most likely be doing all the talking!

How To Wear A High-Slit Skirt


Keep the focus to your waist by belting your entire outfit. This particular outfit is one of the easiest way to wear a high-slit during the day, especially with a pair of old biker boots.

How To Wear A High-Slit Skirt

Pointy flats

Another way to make your cost-per-wear seem a little less excessive, is by wearing your high-slit skirt during the day. Pointy flats make the ultimate statement since they’re still quite dressy, but comfortable at the same time!

How To Wear A High-Slit Skirt

Images via DailyMail, Who What Wear, It’s Camille Co, Pinterest, Global Fashion Report, Draw Illustration