Advance Australia Flair – Flying The Flag For Local Fashion

After writing last weeks Fashion Elixir all about party dressing, it got me thinking about all the amazing designers we have right here in Australia.

While I adore international designers and love to wear their pieces, we should support our home grown talent and fly our Aussie designer flag!

Christine & Models

Christine and Models wearing Toni Maticevski

The beauty about wearing apparel created by locals is that they understand the environment they are designing for, they “get” our lifestyle.

Light, weather and culture all play a major part in fashion and design.

We Aussies tend to be a relaxed bunch, but this certainly doesn’t mean we don’t like to look fab!

And with all that antipodean talent out there, it’s right at our fingertips.

You may remember just recently I enjoyed a brief sojourn to Melbourne to take in the Jean Paul Gaultier exhibition at the NGV.

Whenever I visit this stylish city I always have a few favourite boutiques I like to visit, Christine being one.

Accompanied by my editor Carolyn, who also loves fashion, we made our way to Flinders Lane in the city where a simple plaque defines the doorway.

Christine BoutiqueDown the tartan clad stairs we go, leading to the basement boutique full of fashionable delights many of them exclusive to Christine and Melbourne.

The dress

Buoyant after our session with JPG, we were on a fashion high, Carolyn spies a dress.

Actually not just a dress, but a dream!

“Who is this designer?” she asks,

“Oooh, that’s Toni Maticevski” I reply, “he is one of our own, a Melbourne based designer”.

What was so wonderful is that Christine picks the best of the best.

toni-maticevski-dress-invaderToni Maticevski is delightfully sitting along side internationally recognised labels such as Lanvin, Etro, Sonia Rykiel and Phillip Treacy

The dress we were fawning over was the “Invader cocktail dress” in a stunning floral brocade and geometric lattice print.

Simple in black and white, the fabric tells the story, and what a tale!

Highlights From Victoria Derby Day

toni-maticevski-sanctuary-gownMust say that I did notice that the best dressed woman at this years Derby Day in Melbourne at the Flemington Melbourne Cup Carnival went to a lady wearing a Toni Maticevski “Sanctuary Gown”. A perfect take on a “new look” silhouette in clean white, architectural yet extremely soft.

What a winner.

Lover-astrid-dressAnother label I adore is Lover The Label.

Founded in 2001 by partners in fashion and life, Susien Chong and Nic Briand, these two do heavenly things with lace and leather.

Be sure to check out the “Astrid dress” from the Black Magick collection, not to mention the Zodiac spring/summer 2014 range.

I am also lusting after the Neptune midi dress in Silver and have a huge crush on the Libra fitted top pared with the Virgo midi skirt, j’adore!

Hello summer!

It girl Alexa Chung was spotted in Lover, as was the glamazon Rosie Huntington Whitley.

Both looked incredible in there sartorial choices.

Ellery is another label that has had international success.

Founder Kym Ellery has a very individual aesthetic, clean lines, cool shapes and killer cut pants!

Having spent summer school at Central saint Martins studying fashion illustration and sketchbook design after completing a certificate fashion design in her hometown of Perth must have been a creatives paradise, and we now have the spoils to prove it.

Christine with

Just take a look at this fabulous suiting. It’s all quite “Mad Hatters tea party” roped in before it all gets out of control.

ellery-skirt-topKym’s pieces are dramatic, elegant and highly desirable.

Working mainly with block colour, the power comes from the shape and cut.

This is a perfect lesson in restraint. I love her pants, too fabulous!

We are so fortunate here in Australia to have a sea of talent in a country that is 80% arid.

As with most species that is determined to flourish, all it needs is a little encouragement.

This is what we can do for our Australian talent.

Nurture, support and wear local labels.

If we believe in their power, so will the rest of the world.


Jo Bayley, Fashion Editor, The Culture Concept Circle, 2014






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