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Carla Zampatti Spring/Summer 2011/12 Collection

Receiving an invitation to attend and blog the Carla Zampatti Spring/Summer 2011/12 show was a surprise and an exciting moment!  The event guest list included VIP clientele, celebrities as well as fashion's elite.. It was honour to attend.  Carla Zampatti has been in the industry for 46 years and is considered to be an Australian Fashion icon.  A Carla Zampatti collection is the epitome of femininity, sophistication and elegance and this collection was no exception.
The event was held at the Carla Zampatti headquarters car park (formerly a carriageway dating to the 1800s) at Kent Street Sydney.  The juxtaposition between the raw setting of the car park and the Carla Zampatti clothing was fascinating and effective.  The collection was titled 'The Strength of Simplicity' and this described it perfectly.  The collection embraced femininity, elegance and simplicity and was inspired by the 1990s, focusing on "all about the back."  The show opened with simple and strong lined silhouettes with dashes of red, black and cream.  The collection progressed, with classic and tailored pieces including structured jackets, wide-legged flared pants, trench coats, jumpsuits, shift dresses, maxi skirts, and halter neck draped tops.  The pieces were complimented with unique floating organza hats by Jonathan Howard from Hatmaker.  As the music by the Sydney Dance Company became more dramatic, the mood changed and Carla Zampatti's signature gowns began grace the runway.  The "all about the back", which had slightly appeared earlier, was now the focal point of the pieces.  The gowns were strong statements and consisted of the "sexiest strong graphic back detailing which can be twisted, draped and adapted to suit the mood or occasion."  The fabrics consisted of "new look linens and bamboo to the sheerest organza and georgettes."  Bold and vibrant colours were used including royal 'liquid like' blue, tangerine, striking red, silver, as well as soft creams and pink.
The collection was classic, gorgeous and elegant!  I absolutely love it!  I felt so privileged to be sitting amongst the high fashion elite guests including my favourite magazine editors, such as Kirstie Clements, Jackie Frank and Elizabeth Renkert.  I cannot wait for Bianca Spender's show at Rosemount Australian Fashion Week which begins on Monday!  Be sure to follow The Lilac Mannequin on Facebook and Twitter for constant updates straight from the runway!    
The Carla Zampatti gift bag! 
 (Images above Copyright The Lilac Mannequin)

The Royal Wedding Gown!

The Royal Wedding was amazing!  Catherine looked stunning in her gorgeous Alexander McQueen dress designed by Sarah Burton.  A classic, feminine, glamorous and elegant gown!  Her exquisite tiara was Cartier.  She just looked beautiful and very princess like! 
The second dress was also a McQueen and I am in love with it!

Thurley Spring/Summer 2011/12 Collection

nt My fashion adventure after LIFE with BIRD continued, and as night fell, I was led to the heritage Woollahra Post Office.  I walked into a place covered with pretty vine leaves, violins playing, and in the centre, a gorgeous banquet with fruit and cheese.  The location complimented Thurley's Spring/Summer 2011/12 Hybrid collection perfectly!  Models graced the post office in gorgeous pieces..gowns, dresses, skirts, maxi skirts, pants, structured jackets with exquisite detailing, trimming, sequins, pleats, fringing and embellishments.  Soft tones of nude, olive, charcoal and an unexpected striking red!  Yes, The Lilac Mannequin loves!  The collection included elegant and feminine pieces, inspired by designer Helen O'Connor's European travels.. a mix between "East meets West."  To me, the collection symbolised wealth, glamour and high society.  According to O'Connor,  "A Thurley girl is someone who has a character of wearing something different and unique; like sequins to breakfast."  
I hope the pictures I took do the collection justice!

The Thurley gift bag!
(Image below courtesy of Breakfast with Audrey)
Stay tuned for the Carla Zampatti Spring/Summer 2011/12 collection!

LIFE with BIRD Spring/Summer 2011 Collection

Today I was fortunate to attend LIFE with BIRD's Spring/Summer 2011 presentation.  Designers Nicholas Van Messner and Bridget McCall opted for a minimalistic approach to 'The Way' collection.  The venue, Boutwell Draper Gallery, embraced the collection with its simplicity.  The make-up by MAC was simple, fresh and luminous and complimented the hair by Redken, which was swept to the side.   
The collection itself, was inspired by "the central feeling of rejuvenation.  Waking in the morning and feeling invigorated."  The collection was segmented into two parts.  The first part consisted of simple, sheer, nude basics worn with Nearly Nude underwear.  The second part consisted of oversized silhouettes including flowy dresses and maxi dresses, tailored jackets and shorts, drapery and layering.  The colour palette created the sense of a 'morning dew'... pretty pastels and prints including lilac, dusty pink, greys and blues.  And as for the shoes?  I was completely drawn to the lilac wedges!  A delicate and minimalistic collection that truly embraced the art of simplicity!  Below are a few photos that I took.



Stay tuned for Thurley and Carla Zampatti!

Anything's possible at Rosemount Australian Fashion Week!

Can you believe it's less than a week till Rosemount Australian Fashion Week begins?!  I am so excited!  And what's in store for this year's event?.... Well to open the week, the one and only Zimmermann will showcase their collection at an off site location in North Sydney.  Designers, Kirrily Johnston, Camilla and Marc, Lisa HoEllery, Therese Rawsthorne and returners to this year's event, Josh Goot and Toni Maticevski will all join Zimmermann with off site shows across Sydney.  This year Alex Perry has opted for something a little more low key (compared to last year) and has opted for an on site event.  Dion Lee will once again be holding his show at the Opera House.  I worked at his event last year, so I cannot wait to see what he has in store this year!  Lisa Maree will feature her very first individual show.  Camilla Frank, Ksubi, Jayson Brunsdon and Nicola Finetti have opted out of this year's event, whilst, Carla Zampatti, Thurley and Life with Bird are holding their shows before Rosemount begins.  Bowie will be closing the event, whilst everyone wants a seat at one of Alexa Chung's favourite designers Lover.  But wait.. Romance was Born you ask?  When I saw them not on the schedule, I freaked out!  But never fear Romance was Born will 'unofficially' be opening fashion week the day before the event begins.  I wonder what they have in store this time!
And as for fashion's elite?.. Well ASOS, Net-a-porter.com, and Shopbop.com will all be in attendance as well as everyone's favourite bloggers, Susie from Style Bubble and Tommy Ton are returning.  But that's not all, Imran Amed from Business of Fashion will be attending and Phil Oh from Street Peeper is apparently taking pictures on the street, for Harper's Bazaar Australia!  Have I missed anything?... Probably that for the first time I will be heading to fashion week to blog the shows, that will be featured right here on The Lilac Mannequin!  I will be blogging as much as I can throughout the week, but for information straight off the runway, be sure to join The Lilac Mannequin on Facebook or Twitter!
I've been invited to quite a few shows both before and during fashion week, and I cannot wait!  It seems as though this year's video clip invites are popular.  So here's a sneak peek at one of the shows I'll be attending! 

video
Shakuhachi Rosemount Australian Fashion Week 2011 invitation

It's Mary-Kate and Ashley!

When I think back to my very first fashion inspiration, I think.. Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen.  As a young girl I grew up idolising and wanting to dress exactly like the Olsen twins.  Mary-Kate and Ashley were my fashion icons and even today, I still love drawing style inspiration from them.  From a very young age, the girls were the cutest actresses and before long they managed to create the Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen Empire 'Dulstar'.  These days the girls are not only trendsetters, but are highly respected in the fashion world as designers and as fashion's elite.  The girls have two successful labels including 'The Row' and 'Elizabeth and James.'  However, lately in the media, it's become a Mary-Kate and Ashley phenomenon!   
Where to start?... well perhaps that Mary-Kate and Ashley have recently been nominated for a CFDA award for Womenswear Emerging Designer for their amazing label 'The Row'.   This was then followed with a feature and photo shoot in the US Vogue April 2011 issue.  Then the girls launched their new 70s inspired denim line 'Textile Elizabeth and James' with a star studded launch party.  Some of the guests included Nicole Richie, Brad Goreski and Emma Roberts.  Of course that's not all... The girls then announced the launch of StyleMint.com which is an online, interactive, shopping experience. Customers will be able to become members and answer questions about their personal style and fashion.  Members will then be sent recommendations for garments according to their fashion preferences.  It's like being styled by the Olsen twins!  The girls will design the clothing for the website and the first collection will be a T-shirt range.  As well as this, the website will feature the girls creating the collections on video.  But just when you thought the girls had done it all, according to Harper's Bazaar Australia, the girls will be launching 'The Row' collection in Australia!!  The clothing will be sold in Myer from August.  At this stage it is uncertain whether the girls will personally launch the range in Australia, but I hope they do!
Vogue US April 2011 images