Collette Dinnigan – End Of An Era Showcasing Design & Style

Just shy of a quarter of a century in business, the fashion world was shocked to hear of designer darling Collette Dinnigan’s decision to wind down her high end label “Collette Dinnigan” at the end of 2013.

24 years is a long time in the fickle world of fashion, and Dinnigan will finish on a high.

With her business projected to turn over approximately $14 million this financial year, it must leave many of her peers scratching their heads in disbelief.

While many labels have struggled with such obstacles as the GFC and popularity of online shopping, Dinnigan has continued to go from strength to strength.

Maintaining integrity would arguably be her saving grace.

Just love Collettes’ classic, slightly retro silhouettes, magnificent fabric choices and her colour palettes.

Laces, silks and fine wools are just an example of the sumptuous fabrics that make up her stunning collections.

Why just today I was browsing the racks in David Jones, where this and her diffusion line “Collette by Collette Dinnigan is stocked, and came across the most divine coat.

Simple collarbone scoop neckline, 60’s feel, black wool with a fabulous guipure lace overlay through the front panels, sheer perfection.

This would be a classic in any wardrobe.

I was just sorry it was a large and there was only one!

Dreamy dresses hanging in wait for their new owners, are numbered, letting all know how special they are.

What a wonderful feeling to know that you are only one of 29 people to own a piece like this.

In the world of couture, where custom made one off garments are unaffordable for us mere mortals, what a fabulous chance to enjoy a slice of style heaven.

Sure, they are not cheap, but they are classic, investment pieces.

Definitely worth a lay-by.

Lucky for us, Dinnigan will re-launch her children’s wear label “Collette Dinnigan Enfant” November 2013 and she will continue her diffusion line.

I have a gorgeous dress from this label.

I love wearing it and always get compliments.

While her fabrics may not be as high end with this line, she still uses smooth silks and soft light weight cottons that are a joy to wear.

Small compromises mean a more affordable price point, and they are always classy.

She also branched out, collaborating with fun jewellery chain Lovisa to create a capsule collection.

This is sweet, and amazingly good quality for the price.

A line of frames for Spec Savers, with fellow designer Alex Perry, and “Wild Hearts” lingerie sold at Target in Australia and Marks and Spencer in the UK, round out her sidelines.

Interestingly Collette started out in lingerie, selling at Sydney’s Paddington Markets many moons ago.

Then she went on to open her first boutique in the same suburb.

In 1997 she was awarded the Louis Vuitton business award, and in 1998 inducted into the Australian Business womens hall of fame.

Not bad for a girl who started out sailing around the world with her family.

Originally from South Africa, they decided to settle in New Zealand.

This is where Collette graduated from Wellington Polytechnic at the age of 19.

Now with 9 year old daughter Estella and young son Hunter in the picture, I’m sure she would like to spend some time focusing on her family.

Every year she has shown in Paris, and traveled extensively. This cannot be easy, leaving them and husband Bradley Cocks behind.

What an amazing way to wrap up one facet of her career.

Going out on a high note and leaving your fans wanting more, is the perfect ending to a marvelous gig.

We will miss those divine designs, but who knows what other wondrous creations she has up those well cut sleeves!

CiaoJo Bayley, Fashion Editor, The Culture Concept Circle 2013

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