Friday, June 27, 2008

Fabulous Friday Fashion Profile

Australian fashion designer Wayne Cooper has been very much in the spotlight this week. I started writing this profile previously to this and as this is a fashion blog, I've decided to post this profile as planned. This is a profile of a designer; I have no interest in the other matters, nor do I intend to voice any opinion on them here.

Wayne Cooper is one of Australia's foremost fashion designers and his recent presentation at the Rosemont Australian Fashion Week (May 2008) marked his tenth year at the fashion week shows. While he has firmly established himself in the Australian fashion community, Cooper is in fact from London, and started out on quite a different track before his move into the world of fashion. While having a strong sense for design, Wayne Cooper studied law before deciding that his true calling lay in the world of fashion design.

Deciding to take a leap of faith, Wayne Cooper left the UK to follow his desire to work in fashion and arrived in Australia in 1985. Here he took a job at Sydney fashion store Masons and undertook training in fashion at the East Sydney Technical College. After a seven year business partnership and period of 'learning the ropes' in the fashion industry Cooper decided to strike out on his own by starting the Brave fashion label. Together with stylist and creative director Jean Ferraud, the Brave label was developed alongside the exclusive Wayne Cooper label started shortly after in 1996. Hallmark features of the collection were established early on, with the designer and creative director spending time in Paris, London and New York, ensuring that the finest of fabrics and textiles were chosen for the 'Wayne Cooper' label.

In 2002 the designer took the bold step to implement a sexy, youthful range to replace the Brave label. A cheeky and irreverent label - Wayne - was launched. This saw the shift from the more romantic influence of Brave to a funkier, rock-n-roll styled label that gained massive appeal with models, actresses and bright young things everywhere. A rapid ascendancy in the Australian fashion ranks saw Cooper become a regular fixture at the annual Melbourne Cup, giving live coverage from the event with his irreverent humour and witty commentary being a hit. Following on this success he participated as a co-host on the Australian series of 'What Not To Wear'. Not afraid to tell the stylishly challenged exactly how it is, the success of Cooper was cemented in his role changing women from femme fatals to femme fatales.

Wayne Cooper is today recognised as one of the foremost designers in Australia fashion, and through the careful mixture of luxurious fabrics, lavish design and the innovate and technology savvy fashion shows this designer has firmly established his own niche in the industry. Particuarly celebrated are the unique shows staged during Australian fashion week. These are the one event that most express the unique influences and intrigues of Cooper as a designer. Over the past 10 years Cooper has staged some of the greatest must see events of Fashion Week. The key to these events is the lavish styling and dramatic production, combining unique locations with cutting edge technology and sensational soundtracks. Cooper's muses include Talitha Getty, Faye Dunaway and Michelle Pfeiffer, and international models including Sarah O'Hare, Amber Valetta, Eva Herzigova and Linda Evangelista have participated in Coopers shows.

This year's collection was no exception and the 2008 Ultraviolet collection was a much anticipated event bringing together a beautifully staged show with lavish designs and superbly made, luxurious clothes. Wayne Cooper has in the course of his career in Australia established a much loved clothing label and established himself as one of the leading designers in the country, bringing a unique flair to Australian fashion.

2008 Ultraviolet Collection photos from

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Winter Dress Ups

Well I think I’ve made no secret of the fact that I’m a huge fan of the frock, but so many are quick to overlook this failsafe of elegance and fashion in favour of pants when winter sets in. For the truly stylish woman however this is the ultimate in winter ease. There is nothing that sets you apart as truly elegant so much as a winter dress worn well with a good matching coat. Since the revival of knee high boots as a fashion staple, it is easier than ever to remain warm in a good dress during winter.

One of my favourite dresses is from Australian label Anna & Boy, this black button-thru dress is truly the definition of simple elegance, with black ribbed cotton and a draped style that sits below the knee with a deep v neck and long sleeves. I think this dress lends itself to both office wear and cocktail elegance and is the ideal little black dress (LBD) for the winter months.

Another gorgeous dress to bring a splash of summer to the winter months is the Fleur Wood Evoking Thoughts Dress. This dress is available in black, white, red and marigold. It is the marigold coloured dress that I particularly love; this dress is a little ray of sunshine for winter wear. I love the casual styling of the pussy bow collar and the ever so chi-chi details in the 3/4 length sleeves.

The ultimate cocktail dress is the DISAYA Swan Lace, Cut-out Sleeve Dress, which truly epitomises the direction that winter 08 has taken in Australia this year. This dress layers the crochet lace with hear details over a satin shift that sits at the knee. The lace detail extends across the bodice and along the sleeves.

There are so many more dresses to choose from than the few mentioned here, whatever your taste, to achieve the true height of winter sophistication then you are sure to find a dress that is an elegant and timeless winter option.

Anna & Boy Button-Thru Dress at - $256.00

Fleur Wood Thought Evoking Dress at - $390.00

DISAYA Swan Lace Cut-out Sleeve Dress on sale now from - $332.80 (from $512.00)

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Hot Hoodies and Cool Tees from Decibel Clothing

If you are looking for something casual to wear that incorporates great design and the best of local talent, then Decibel Clothing is just the ticket. I love these great tees and hoodies that incorporate exceptional art from local designers with well cut, quality fabrics.
Decibel Clothing is a local design company from Adelaide in South Australia. The ethos of this company is based on an underlying focus on quality and specifically non-sweatshopped products. Decibel source designs from local artists in South Australia, giving them a unique chance to have their designs incorporated and utilised by this growing fashion label.
There is a strong commitment to South Australian themed products in the art used for this clothing label. Being a South Aussie myself my personal favourites are the Frog Cake t-shirts. These cute t-shirts feature the green frogs of every SA child’s schooldays with a simple “riddup” written over head.
I love these original designs and funky styles and I strongly recommend you take a further look at this range of clothing if you are after something uniquely Australian and comfy; be it a warm winter hoodie or a cool summer tee. Whatever the season, Decibel clothing has something original for you.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Stay hot when the temperature drops!

Winter is the ideal time to really let elegance take the lead. In Australia we’re renowned for being casual and laid back in our style, and I think this really goes hand in hand with our hot climate. While it isn’t impossible to be elegant in summer here, it is undoubtedly an easier option when the cool months come along. So with winter setting in, it’s the perfect opportunity to channel your inner film star; sporting your favourite winter coat to combine impeccable tailoring with some of the fabulous scarves, hats and gloves that are in style this year.

I really love the range of gloves from Australian label Tribu, these are one of the hottest items around right now. There are a range of full-length and regular gloves, but I particularly love the variety of colours, including ruby reds and vibrant blues alongside staples in black, brown and taupe. The cuffed Kat gloves are truly chic and the fabulous Claudia full-length gloves are quite unique these days. My personal favourites are the Casey and Jean gloves (pictured); these kind of simple gloves are ideal for all sorts of occasions and will see you through the winter in warmth and style.