Want to get up to date on the national fashion scene? Grab a quick lesson in some of Australia’s top fashion design labels like Collette Dinnigan, Camilla and Marc, Sass & Bide, Alannah Hill and Alex Perry.
Born in South Africa and raised in New Zealand, we’ve now claimed Collette Dinnigan as one of our own. Beginning with a gorgeous lingerie line featuring French fabric and Indian embroidery, Collette opened her first boutique in Sydney in 1992. She has since opened additional retail stores in Melbourne and London, added her label to the David Jones stockist list, worked with Target to design a collection of affordable lingerie, and added a children’s and a bridal collection to the line.
Collette’s pieces are adored for their femininity and stylishness. Elegantly subtle, they feature chic, flattering cuts that embrace a woman’s shape. Always cut from exquisite fabrics like sheer neutrals and touches of lace and sequins, you’re guaranteed to look gorgeous in a Dinnigan evening gown.
Camilla and Marc
Brother and sister team Camilla Freeman-Topper and Marc Freeman first made their debut with their line Camilla and Marc at Australian Fashion Week in 2003. Since then, they’ve opened their first flagship store in Sydney, become a runway staple and launched a swimwear range, C&M.
The Camilla and Marc line has a contemporary edge with sleek silhouettes and clean tailoring. Playing with luxe fabrics and bold prints, they make gorgeous suits as beautifully as they do evening gowns. Camilla and Marc is perfect for chic workwear or an eye-catching dress for a special occasion.
Sass & Bide
Beginning with a humble stall selling jeans at London’s Portobello Road Market, Sarah-Jane Clarke and Heidi Middleton’s fashion line Sass & Bide has since grown into an internationally recognised runway regular. In 2008 they designed a denim line for Topshop and their designs have even been worn on Sex And The City.
Known for their distinctive embellishments, you’ll hardly find a piece on the Sass & Bide racks without an interesting texture, some raffia fringing, a splash of fluoro or a metallic edge. Bright, colourful and playful, their designs are fresh and fun. Choose a Sass & Bide frock if you want to get noticed.
After moving from Tasmania to Melbourne at the age of 16 with meagre savings and no concrete plans, Alannah Hill worked in a boutique on Chapel Street before she started to gradually bring her own ideas into the designs. She eventually launched her own label and now has 14 boutiques across Australia and New Zealand, 13 concessions with David Jones and stockists across Asia and the U.K.
Alannah has a distinctive style, combining strong colours like blood red and violet with girlie touches and embellishments. Feminine glamour reigns with ruffles, lace and bows. You’ll find plenty of sweet cardigans, skirts and extravagant dresses on the racks at one of her boutiques — perfect for a wedding or a day at the races.
After studying at the East Sydney Fashion Design Studio, Alex Perry launched his label in the early 1990s to much praise from the media, fashion industry and customers alike. His designs have since gone on to feature in many highly coveted fashion editorials, runway shows and on the famous bods of prominent Australian celebrities. Alex himself has also become something of a media star, featuring on shows like Australian Project Runway.
Lauded as Australia’s leading couturier, Alex is known for his glamorous gowns and red carpet frocks. For the past 20 years, he has combined luxurious fabrics with figure-enhancing cuts to create spectacular evening gowns.
Read more about our other favourite Aussie designers like Akira Isogawa, Ellery, Dion Lee, Josh Goot, Toni Maticevski, Zimmermann and Kirrily Johnston here.