Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Taisho Chic at the Gallery

Whenever i start to feel uninspired or overloaded with mental "clutter" from daily life, there is always an easy fix to get the creative juices flowing once again - a visit to my nearest art gallery!!!
The Art Gallery of NSW, in Sydney's Domain, is such a cool place. Apart from the great location, and intriguing, totally hypnotic Aboriginal Art section, there is a stunning permanent collection of Asian arts, classic European paintings and contemporary Australia works, plus travelling exhibitions from around the globe. Earlier this week i took my Mum to see the current exhibition there called "Taisho Chic - Japanese Modernity, Nostalgia and Deco"... in a word - BEAUTIFUL! Although it's small and compact, the exquisite collection of kimono's, paintings, silk screens, funky tea-cups and pretty little fans and knick-knacks was unique, often quite quirky, and just fascinating! A real snap-shot of life back then, very well-presented, and very educational AND inspiring...
Showing works from approx the 1910-1930's period, it demonstrated how Japanese women were suddenly able to embrace parts of Western culture & fashion, without losing their own strong traditions and still staying respectable and feminine. It was a time of big changes, and fashion was enabling women to express themselves more than ever before. Some of the kimono prints and colour combinations look like they are from the 1980's or beyond- until you look at the program and realize it was from around 1930 or so... amazing. This show runs til 3rd August, and i thoroughly recommend it to anyone here in Sydney, the guided tour starts at 1pm daily. LOVED IT!!!! xx lisa

Friday, July 18, 2008

Dreamtime dinner with a President!

OK, so i am going to brag a little... sorry, i just can't help myself, it's so exciting!?!!
Tonight, my dear friend and former Miss World Australia, the lovely Caroline Pemberton, is off to the Opera House in Sydney to attend a gala black tie function... dressed in a fabulous couture Culture Shock gown!
Due to her wonderful and very dedicated fund-raising work in East Timor during the 2007 Miss World competition, Caroline met and befriended a very famous East Timorese leader, the Nobel Peace Laureate President José Ramos-Horta. Tonight Caroline will be accompanying Mr Ramos-Horta to a special dinner at the famous Sydney Opera House, and she'll be proudly wearing our black silk "Dreamtime Gown", as pictured.

My team and i created this one-off couture gown last year especially for Caroline to wear to the Miss World finals in China. The authentic Aboriginal dot painting was meticulously handpainted onto the silk by a very talented indigenous artist, Yarramunua. This gown has also been worn by Caroline at the Melbourne Grande Prix last year, and always grabs attention due to the colourful artwork, her gorgeously curvey figure, and of course the "spirit of reconciliation" in modern Australia, which i think this gown helps to represent. Yarramunua is having an art exhibition in Melbourne of his work in September, and this stunning creation will be travelling to the exhibition to be displayed as part of his body of work - i'll be heading down there to say G'day to him with dress in hand! xxx lisa

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Haute Couture Heaven!

Hooray - it's that time of year again....the July Haute Couture shows in Paris and Milan -
W O W !!! i've just been online to check out the latest from the world's greatest fashion designers of today - eternally cool Karl Lagerfeld at Chanel, the amazing John Galliano at Dior, my multi-culti fave Jean Paul Gaultier, glam man Elie Saab, and the list goes on.... check it out at

Every year in January & July, the European Haute Couture shows are held, and whether they admit it or not, fashion designers around the world look to Paris & Milan to see what these masters are creating, for inspiration, direction and new ideas. Colours, new fabrics & textures, new ways of working with pleating, embroidery, draping, etc, are all on show here, the absolute best of the best. The collections are , of course, exaggerated versions of what most people will actually end up wearing in a year or two from now (yes, it often takes that long for a new trend to be accepted by the general public!) but it's always impressive and often mind-blowing to see the new concepts of beauty and fashion...the sheer amount of work that goes into each artisan- made creation (Couture gowns sell from USD$20,000 and upwards!) with such fine tailoring, magnificent patternmaking and cutting, and legendary craftsmanship... oh, it brings tears to my eyes! I LOVE FASHION!!!!! xx lisa

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

sneak preview... my latest design

oooohhhh, i am excited! i have just received some photo's back from a recent shoot i did with the FABULOUS Nicole Ritchie, a cool Sydney photographer... our lovely model Eve wore this outfit with just the right amount of "attitude" and the pics look just fabulous! Accessorised with vintage gloves and cane, the black & white corset is hand-crafted from a funky print by legendary wallpaper designer Florence Broadhurst (now there's a fascinating story...) and the silk Dupion skirt features a ruffled train and bustle at the back. i have recently been collaborating with the divine Sandie Bizys, a milliner in Annandale, Sydney, and she created the MOST AMAZZZZING hats to match each outfit in my shoot. More pics to appear on my website check it out! xxx lisa